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BAW.Jim]L  ^(BWm^.B. 

9  .li^o.iifr'  o 

From  an  original  portraat  in  the  poaaession  of  hia  grand-daughtei-, IF? W?  f  Wll  = 


^  APR  23  1932 








Entered  according  to   Act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1877,  in  the  Office  of  the  Librarian  of        I 

Congress  at  Washington,  D.  C.  | 



William  Syckelmoore,  Printei 
No.  1420  Chestnut  Street 

TO    THE    MEMORY    OF 

REV.     SAMUEL     JONES,     D.  D., 

MAY  18th,  1762,  TO  HIS  DEATH  AT  LOWER  DUBLIN,  FEBRUARY  7th,  1814, 

B-Y"     THE     ^TJ1'I3:OI^- 


Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  D.  D. 

Barbadoes  Storehouse.     .,  Protestant  Episcopal,  Church. 

Montgomery  Baptist  Meeting  House. 

Southampton  Baptist  Meeting  House. 

Hopewell  Academy. 

Lagrange  Place  Meeting  House. 

Carpenter's  Hall. 

Independence  Hall. 

Old  Meeting  House  at  Roxborough.     . 

Lower  Dublin  Baptist  Meeting  House. 

First  Church  Broad  and  Arch  Streets- 














CHAPTER  I._1684— 1690— Philadelphia  Founded.— Religious  Lib- 
erty—Welsh Parentage. — Origin  of  Baptists. — John  Holme  Purchases 
Land.— Rev.  Thomas  Dungan.— Cold  Spring  Church.— Bucks  and 
Philadelphia  Counties. — ^William  Penn  and  Thomas  Dungan.— An 
English  Baptist.— A  Celebrated  Spring.— Persecution  in  Wales.— 
Settlement  at  Pennypack.— An  Indian  Deed.— Meaning  of  Pennypack. 
—Rev.  Elias  Reach.- The  First  Baptism.— Lower  Dublin  Church 
Constituted. — Change  of  Calendar. — Quarterly  Meetings. — Conference 
Meetings. — Decease  of  Rev.  Thomas  Dungan— Rev.  John  Watts.    .         17 

CHAPTER  II.— 1691-1700.— Keithians.— Baptists  and  Liberty  of  Con- 
science— Rev.  Thomas  Killingsworth. — William  Davis. — Preaching 
at  Cold  Spring. — A  Catechism  and  Confession  of  Faith. — Quaker 
Baptists.— Mennonites— Rev.  E.  Keach  Returns  to  England.— Rev. 
Morgan  Edwards  and  Baptist  History. — First  Baptist  Church  of  Phila- 
delphia Organized— Prominence  of  John  Holme.— Rev.  Hanserd 
Knollys. — Barbadoes  Storehouse. — Baptists  and  Presbyterians. — Sepa- 
ration.— Meeting  in  a  Brewhouse. — Baptists  and  Episcopalians. - 
Christ  Church 


CHAPTER  III.— 1701-1710— The  Seventh-Day  Baptists— An  Emi- 
grant Church. — Laying  on  of  Hands  and  Singing. — Death  of  Rev. 
John  Watts. — First  Baptist  Church  and  the  Keithians. — A  Constant 
Supply  of  Ministers. — The  Philadelphia  Baptist  Association.— More 
Ministers.       .......••.•         '^^ 

CHAPTER  IV.— 1711-1720.— D  i  s  s  e  n  s  i  o  n  s.— Ruling  Elders— The 
Montgomery  Church  Organized. — William  Thomas.— Tunkers  in 
Germantown. — -         48 

CHAPTER  V.  1721-1730.— Death  of  Samuel  Jones  and  Abel  Morgan. 

An  Educated  Ministry. — Thomas  Hollis.— Harvard  College. — Order 

in  Church  services. — Careful  Reception  of  Ministers  from  Abroad. — 
The  Fourth  Commandment. — Marrying  an  Unbeliever. — Forfeit  of 
Office  and  Membership  in  the  Church.— Letters  of  Churches  to  the 
Association. — Closed  Doors. — Tunker  Church  Organized. — George 
Eaglesfield. — Benjamin  Griffith  Ordained. — Reception  of  Members 
from  Great  Britain. — Rev.  Jenkin  Jones  at  Pennypack. — William 
Kinnersley. — Joseph  Eaton  Ordained. — Church  Letters  not  Granted. — 
Laying  on  of  Hands  in  Ordination. — Fraternal  Correspondenee  with 
London.— The  First  Circular  Letter 55 


CHAPTER  VI. —1731-1 740— The    Baptist    Meeting-House    Built 

Assistance  Needed. — Baptists  and  the  Romanists. — Church  of  Eng- 
land Demands  the  Baptist  Property. — Fail  to  get  it. — William  Kinners- 
ley  Dies. — Samuel  Jones  and  Samuel  Stillman. — Rev.  George  White- 
field  Arrives. — A  Spiritual   Man — The  Rev.  Jenkin  Jones. — Various 

Questions- — Association  Records. — Catechetical  Instruction Fifty-six 

Baptized. — Denominational  Growth  Slow.       .....         63 

CHAPTER  Vn.— 1741-1750— Philadelphia  Confession  of  Faith- 
Subjects  of  Articles. — Ebenezer    Kinnersley  Ordained Doubts     on 

Whitefield's    Preaching. — Electricity. — Joseph    Eaton's    Defection. 

First  Baptist  Church  Reconstituted. — Groundless  Question. — Consti- 
tuent jSIembers, — The   Southampton  Baptist   Church George   Eaton 

and  Peter  P.  Vanhorn. — Abraham  Levering. — First  Records  of  the 
Association. — Benjamin  Griffith. — Power  and  Duty  of  an  Association. 
—Death  of  Rev.  Joseph  Wood. — Trouble  with  the  Pennypack  Property, 
— Death  of  Rev.  Joseph  Eaton. — Rev.  Isaac  Eaton  and  Hopewell 
Academy. — Moderator's  Name  First  Given. — Nathaniel  Jenkins.       .         67 

CHAPTER  VIII— 1751-1760— Feeble  Churches  Supplied  with  Preach- 
ing— Ministers  Ordained  at  the  Association. — Other  Associations  Organ- 
ized— George  Eaton  Called  to  the  Ministry. — Ebenezer  Kinnersley,  a 
Professor  in  the  University  of  Pennsylvania. — New  Britain  Church  Con- 
stituted.— John  Davis  Ordained— The  Pioneer  Baptists  of  Maryland. 

Ordination  Certificate — First  Latin  Grammar  School— Hopewell 
Academy. — Association's  Jubilee. — Talents  Developed— Ministerial 
Supply — Doctrinal  Sermon.— Meagre  Records. — First  Church  Pulpit 
Supplied. — Application  to  England  for  a  Pastor.— Death  of  Rev. 
Jenkin  Jones — His  Legacy. — Dissenting  Ministers  Permitted  to  Solem- 
nize Marriages. — Mount  Moriah  Cemeteiy. — Rev.  Morgan  Edwards 
Invited  from  England.— First  Fruit  of  the  Hopewell  School. — Rev. 
John  Gano. — Rev.  Samuel  Stillman. — Various  Occurrences.     .         .         74 

CHAPTER  IX— 1761-1763— A  New  Era.— Rev.  Morgan  Edwards 
Arrives. — Dr.  G.  Weed's  Self- Esteem. — Excommuuicated  for  Drunken- 
ness.— Supervision  of  the  Membership. — Morgan  Edwards  Prominent. 
Association's  Letter  to  England. — Need  of  Books. — First  Table  of 
Statistics. — Brown  University  Projected. — Morgan  Edwards  the  Pro- 
jector.— Educational  Growth.— New  Meeting-House  in  Philadelphia 

St.  Michael's  Lutheran  Church. — Sound  of  the  Organ. — Resignation 
of  Rev.  P.  P.  Vanhorn— The  City's  Seal  to  Ordination  Certificates.— 
George  Eaton. — Samuel  Jones  Baptized. — Licensed  to  Preach. — Copy 
of  the  License. — Ordained. — Place  of  Worship  Occupied. — Mr. 
Whitefield's  Church — Samuel  Jones  Pastor  at  Pennypack. — A  Prerog- 
ative of  the  Ministry. — Wearing  a  Master's  Gown.— Rev.  Stephen 
Watts. — Ordination  of  Deacons 82 


CHAPTER  X.— 1764-1770— The  Sisters  Allowed  to  Vote.— Ruling 
Elders. — Fraternal  Asscciational  Correspondence. — Warren  Association 
Organized. — Letter  from  Philadelphia.— Rhode  Island  College  and 
Morgan  Edwards. — Death  of  Rev.  Benjamin  Griffith. — First  Com- 
mencement of  Brown  University. — Minutes  First  Printed. — Northern 
Liberties  Church. — Persecutions. — Philadelphia  Association  to  the 
Rescue. — Sufferings  at  Ashfield. — New  Meeting-House  at  Pennypack.       93 

CHAPTER  XI.— 1771-1775— A  Decade  of  Trial.— Rev.  Morgan 
Edwards  Resigns. — Rev.  Samuel  Stillman  Chosen  Pastor. — Did  not 
Accept. — Northern  Liberty  Church  in  the  Association. — The  Missionary 
Spirit.— Morgan  Edwards  an  Evangelist. — Rev.  William  Rogers  Or- 
dained.—Last  Sermon  of  Rev.  Issac  Eaton. — Divine  Blessing.— John 
Levering. — Laying  on  of  Hands. — Rev.  Ebenezer  Kinnersley  Resigns 
his  Professorship. — Death  and  Burial  of  Mr.  Kinnersley. — Memorial 
Window. — Persecutions  of  Baptists. — Association  Meeting  twice  a  Year. 
— Academy  at  Pennypack. — Burgiss  Allison. — Carpenters'  Hall. — 
Continental  Congress — Rev.  Isaac  Backus. — Diary  of  Backus  in  Phil- 
adelphia.— Committee  of  Grievances  in  the  Association. — Meeting  in 
Carpenters'  Hall.— Address  by  Rev.  James  Manning.— Massachusetts 
Delegates  Unfriendly. — Baptists  and  Soul  Liberty. — Prejudiced  Opinion 
of  John  Adams. — Committee  Determined. — Printed  Doccments., — 
Fasting  and  Prayer. — Rev.  William  Rogers  Resigned.     .         .         .         102 

CHAPTER  XII.— 1776-1780 The  Ever  Memorable  1776 — Declara- 
tion of  Independence. — Association  at  Scotch  Plains. — Days  of  Humili- 
ation.— Independence  Hall. — Baptists  on  the  Side  of  the  Colonies. — 
Rev.  William  Rogers  a  Chaplain. — Ingenuity  of  Burgiss  Allison. — Rev. 
John  Pitman. — Patriotism  of  the  Pennypack  Church. — No  Association 
in  1777. — Philadelphia  Church  in  Distress. — Rev,  James  Manning. — 
Diary  of  Manning  in  Philadelphia. — Price  of  Board. — Letter  to  Revs. 
Still  and  Miller  — Rev.  John  Gano  Called. — Windows  Filled  with 
Boards. — Gano's  Reply. — Call  Repeated. — Elhanan  Winchester  Chosen. 
— An  Unfortunate  Move. — Rev.  David  Jones. — First  Hundred  Years.     118 

CHAPTER  XIIL— 1781-1782.— Apostacy  of  Winchester.— Protest.— 
Council  Called. — Advice  of  Association. — Lawsuit  for  Property. — 
Excommunicated. — Address  from  the  Church. — Winchester's  Death. — 
Baptisterion. — Rev.  James  Manning. — Issues  of  the  War. — Messenger 
Association  in  Session. — Met  at  Sunrise. — Success  of  American  Arms. 
— Statistics  of  Churches. — Out  of  the  Ordeal. — Petititon  the  General 
Assembly. — Ask  to  be  Incorporated. — Desire  President  Manning. — 
Rev.  Thomas  Ustick  Settled. — Sketch  of  Ustick. — Circulation  of  the 
Bible. — Brown  University  Commended. — Honeywell  School  Fund. — 
John  Honeywell's  Will 130 


CHAPTER  XIV.— 1783-1790— Scruples  Conceming  Laying  on  of 
Hands. — Keep  the  Ordinances  as  Delivered. — Montgom.ry  County 
Formed. — President  Manning  and  Philadelphia  Baptists. — The  First 
Doctor  of  Divinity. — Lord's  Supper,  and  Scattered  Members. — Loyalty 
to  the  Colonies. — Pennypack  Church  Incorporated. — The  Temperance 
Question. — A  Baptist  Hymn  Book. — Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  a  Doctor  of 
Divinity. — Singing  Avoided. — Authorized  Tunes. — Rev.  \Vm.  Rogers 
Appointed  to  a  Professorship. — Plain  Furniture. — Roxborough  Church 
Organized. — Abolition  of  Slavery. — Old  Meeting-House  at  Roxborough.  139 

CHAPTER  XV.— 1791-1800— Rev.  Curtis  Gilbert— Chestnut  Hill.— 
Rev.  Thomas  Ainger. — Death  of  President  Manning. — Sunday-school 
Society. — Regulation  of  Youth. — Destitute  Orphans. — Notification  of 
Members  Received. — Soppression  of  Plays. — Recommendation  or 
Dismission. — Joseph    Keen. — Home    Missions. — Death     of     Morgan 

Edvs^ards. — Rev.    Wiliam    White    Ordained Yellow     Fever. — Rev. 

Rev.  Thomas  Ustick. — A  Second  Church. — Association  Chartered. — 
Churches  Dropped. — Chains  Across  the  Street. — Death  of  George 
Washington. — Rev.  Thomas  Fleeson  at  Roxborough. — A  Forward 
Movement. — AFeeble  Folk. — Missionary  Efforts.  .         .         .         147 

CHAPTER  XVI._1801-1806.— A  New  Era  of  Growth.—Measures 
Toward  an  African  Church. — Letters  from  Carey. — A  Missionary 
Spirit. — Baptisms  on  a  Week-day. — Shade  Trees  at  the  Baptisterion. — 
Joseph  S.  Walter. — Holy  Spirit  Poured  Out. — Second  Baptist  Church 
Constituted. — Moderator  Should  be  a  Member. — A  Masonic  Lodge 
Room  Used  for  Religious  Worship. — The  Second  Baptist  Meeting- 
House  Dedicated. — Death  of  Thomas  Ustick. — Blockley  Baptist  Church 
Constituted. — Build  a  Meeting-House. — Singing  Led  by  Precentors. — 
Christians  in  the  Choirs. — Rev.  William  White,  Pastor  of  the  Second 
Church. — Licentiates'  Names. — Rev.  W^illiam  Staughion  in  Phila- 
delphia.— Crowded  Congregation. — New  Meeting-House  at  Lower 
Dublin. — First  Baptist  Meeting-House  Enlarged. — Four  Sermons  on 
Sunday. — Hoartio  Gates  Jones,  D.D. — Churches  Lighted  by  Candles. — 
Heated  by  Wood  Stoves. — Blank  Forms  of  Letters  of  Dismission. — First 
Collection  for  Foreign  Missions — Number  of  Members  Necessary  to 
Form  a  Church. — Valid  Baptism. — Christian  Missions. — Rev.  John 
Rutter  Excluded. — Invalid    Marriages. 157 

CHAPTER.X  VII.— 1807-1810— City  Pastors  Residing  in  the  Country. 
Frankford  Baptist  Church  Constituted. — Meeting-House  Erected. — 
Centennial  Anniversary  of  Philadelphia  Association. — Chronological 
List  of  Churches — Second  Baptist  Church  Incorporated. — John  P. 
Crozer. — Wayside  Efforts. — Third  Baptist  Church  Constitufed. — Impo- 
sition of  Hands. — Fifteen  Hundred  Dollars  and  Parsonage. — Close 
Supervision  and  Strict  Discipline. — Prohibition  of  Society  Funerals. — 
First  African  Baptist  Church  Constituted. — House  for  Baptismal 
Occasions. — Missionary  Society  Extending  its  Labors.  .         .         169 


CHAPTER  XVIII.— 1811-1815 — Growth  of  the  City  Westward.— 
Sansom  Street  Baptist  Church  Organized. — Ur.  Staughton  Ssttled  as 
Pastor. — Collections  at  the  Lord's  Supper. — Rev.  John  E.  Peckworth. — 
Rev.  David  Jones,  Jr  ,  at  Frankford. — Rev.  Henry  Holcombe,  D.D., 
Pastor  First  Baptist  Chnrch,  Philadelphia. — Missionary  Spirit. — A 
Princeton  Student  Baptized. — A  Scriptural  Right  to  Baptize. — Rev. 
John  King — Baptist  Orphan  Society, — Emporium  of  Baptist  Influence. 
First  American  Missionaries — Philadelphia  Baptist  Society  for  Foreign 
Missions. — A  Consecrated  Spot. — Triennial  Convention. — Names  of 
Delegates. — Death  of  Dr.  Samuel  Jones. — Sunday-Schools  Organized. 
— History  of  the  First  Church  Bible  School. — Historical  Address  by 
Judge  Hanna 178 

CHAPTER  XIX.— CONCLUSION— Prominent  Incidents  and  Persons. 
— Rev.  Jacob  Griggs. — Rev.  William  E.  Ashton. — Rev.  Wm.  Wilson. 
— Rev.  J.  C.  Murphy. — Defection  of  William  White. — Rev.  James 
McLaughlin. — The  Fourth  Baptist  Church  Constituted. — Meeting- 
House  Erected. — The  Latter-Day  Luminary. — First  Theological  Sem- 
inar.y — Graduating   Class. — Columbian  University. — A  Few  Honored 

Names. — ^J.    H.    Kennard. — Daniel    Dodge William  J.  Brantley. — 

Rufus  Babcock. — K.  A.    Fleischman. — George  B.    Ide James    M. 

Linnard. — Joseph   Taylor. — Wilson  Jewell. — David  Jayne. — Franklin 
Lee. — W.H.Richards. — Thomas  Wattson. — J.P.Sherborne.         .         189 


This  work,  on  the  Early  Baptists  of  Philadelphia,  does  not  claim  to 
exhaust  all  that  might  be  said  about  them,  nor  does  it  profess  to  be 
infallible  on  every  point.  The  material  for  it  has  been  collected  and 
prepared  amidst  the  pressing  duties  of  pastoral  and  other  denomi- 
national work,  and  it  is  presented  to  the  public  in  this  form,  in  the 
hope  that,  at  no  very  distant  day,  an  abler  pen  may  do  more  ample 
justice  to  the  memory  and  work  of  the  men  who  in  the  past  have 
rendered  such  valuable  service  to  the  cause  of  truth  in  these  parts  of 
our  great  and  growing  country. 

In  publishing  a  few  of  the  earlier  chapters  in  the  National  Bap- 
tist the  following  incident  was  given: — 

In  an  old  Welsh  Bible  belonging  to  the  Lower  Dublin  Baptist 
Church  of  this  city  (now  in  the  collection  of  the  American  Baptist 
Historical  Society),  printed  in  London,  in  1678,  is  the  following  re- 
cord: — 

Sarah,  daughter  of  Peter  Davies,  Baptist  minister,  Dolau,  Radnorshire,  South 
Wales,  came  over  and  settled  in  Penepec,  in  the  year  1680,  and  through  her 
letters,  induced  to  follow  her,  George  Eaton,  John  Eaton  and  Jane  Eaton,  to- 
gether with  Samuel  Jones,  a  preacher  in  Dolau,  and  they  were  amongst  those 
who  founded  the  church  in  Penepec,  in  1688.  This  Bible  was  brought  over  by 
them  and  has  been  preserved  ever  since  in  the  Penepec  Church,  now  called 
Lower  Dublin.     May  God  continue  to  bless  and  prosper  this  dear  old  church. 

October  12th,  i86g.  THOMAS  PRICE,  Aberdare,  Wales. 

Dr.  Price  made  the  above  entry,  while  on  a  visit  to  this  country 
in  1869.  Meeting  with  it  at  Lower  Dubhn,  and  wishing  to  determine 
the  correctness  of  it.  Dr.  Price  was  written  to  for  his  authority.  He 
replied  promptly,  and  sent  very  full  notes  from  a  lecture  prepared 
with  great  care  for  the  Welsh  in  America.     He  says,   ''I  was  then 


(1869)  assisted  as  to  dates  by  the  late  Rev.  William  Roberts,  L.L.D., 
the  first  pastor  of  Rev.  P.  L.  Davies,  of  New  York.  Dr.  Roberts  had 
spent  a  life-time  in  gathering  together  material  for  a  Baptist  History, 
but  I  regret  that  he  is  now  dead,  and  I  fear  that  his  great  labors,  to  a 
large  extent,  will  be  lost.  I  am  not  able  now  to  give  you  documentary 
proof  of  any  date,  but  I  had  implicit  confidence  in  him." 

A  thorough  examination  into  the  above,  warrants  the  statement, 
that  it  is  entirely  without  foundation,  and  therefore  it  is  expunged  from 
the  body  of  this  work. 

Praying  the  blessing  of  heaven  upon  this  humble  contribution  to 
the  historical  literature  of  our  honored  denomination,  it  is  sent  forth 
upon  its  mission  of  interest  to  those  who  may  peruse  its  pages. 

T  k:  E 

£arly  Baptists  of  Philadelphia. 

CHAPTER  L— 1684-1690. 


MUCH  that  is  exceedingly  interesting  clusters  around 
the  early  history  of  the  Baptists  of  Philadelphia, 
coeval  as  it  is  with  that  of  the  city  itself.  William  Penn 
received  the  charter  of  Pennsylvania  March  14th,  1681,  He 
did  not,  however,  reach  the  site  now  occupied  by  the  city 
until  the  early  part  of  November,  1682.  An  old  record  of 
a  meeting  held  at  Shackamaxon,.on  the  8th  of  November, 
says  :  "At  this  time  Governor  Penn  and  a  number  of  Friends 
arrived  here,  and  erected  a  city  called  Philadelphia,  about 
half  a  mile  from  Shackamaxon." 

The  frame  of  Government  as  established,  was  in  the 
main  on  the  broad  platform  of  Religious  Liberty.  The 
thirty-fifth  law  of  the  statutes  as  agreed  upon  May  5th, 
1682,  declared  "That  all  persons  living  in  this  Province, 
who  confess  and  acknowledge  the  Almighty  and  Eternal 
God  to  be  the  Creator,  upholder  and  ruler  of  the  world,  and 


that  hold  themselves  obliged  in  conscience  to  live  peaceably 
and  justly  in  civil  society,  shall  in  no  ways  be  molested  or 
prejudiced  for  their  religious  persuasion  or  practice  in  mat- 
ters of  faith  and  worship,  nor  shall  they  be  compelled  at 
any  time  to  frequent  or  maintain  any  religious  worship,  place 
or  ministry  whatever." 

The  Welsh  Baptist  historian  (J.  Davis)  claims  that 
"Wales  is  to  be  considered  as  the  parent  of  the  Baptist 
denomination  in  Pennsylvania." 

The  question  is  sometimes  asked,  where  did  the  Baptists 
start  from?  Those  who  know  no  better  say  from  Roger 
Williams,  in  Rhode  Island.  Philadelphia  Baptists  trace 
their  origin  to  Wales,  and  the  Welsh  Baptists  have  traced 
their  history  back  to  A.  d.  63.  From  that  date  to  Christ  in 
Palestine,  it  is  not  difficult  to  track  out  the  New  Testament 
doctrines  and  practices  which  still  distinguish  us  as  the  fol- 
lowers of  Jesus. 

Between  Penn's  reception  of  the  charter  and  his  arrival 
in  Philadelphia,  the  sale  of  land  had  commenced.  In  his 
letter  to  Philip  Ford,  dated  May  22d,  1682,  the  name  of 
John  Holme  is  given  as  one  of  the  first  purchasers  of  land 
in  this  city.  It  is  not  improbable  that  he  is  the  same  man 
of  whom  Morgan  Edwards  says,  "In  the  year  1686,  one 
John  Holmes,  who  was  a  Baptist,  arrived  and  settled  in  the 
neighborhood."  He  was  the  ancestor  of  the  Holme  family, 
for  many  years  associated  with  the  Holmesburg  Baptist 
Church  of  this  city,  and  of  Rev.  J.  Stanford  Holme,  D.  D., 
of  New  York. 

Rev.  Thomas  Dungan  was  the  first  Baptist  minister  who 
located  in  these  parts.  He  came  with  a  colony  from  Rhode 
Island,  where  he  had  been  a  member  of  the  First  Baptist 
Church  of  Newport,  and  settled,  in  1684,  at  Cold  Spring,  in 
Bucks  county,  about  three  miles  north  of  Bristol.  Here  he 
founded  a  Baptist  church— the  first  one  west  of  New  Eng- 

REV.    THOMAS    DUNGAN.  19 

land,  except  one  in  Charleston,  S.  C,  constituted  in  1683. 
As  the  exact  line  between  Bucks  and  Philadelphia 
counties  was  not  fixed  until  April  ist,  1685,  as  Dungan 
naturally  visited  this  city  before  finally  locating  where  he 
did,  and  as  the  Cold  Spring  interest  "  was,  in  the  end,  ab- 
sorbed by  the "  Lower  Dublin  Church,  of  this  city,  the 
history  of  this  first  church  in  Pennsylvania  legitimately  be- 
longs to  that  of  Philadelphia.  Between  Penn  and  Dungan 
there  may  have  been  a  friendly,  though,  necessarily,  a  short 
intimacy,  as  the  former  returned  to  England  August  12th, 
1684.  The  reasons  for  this  supposed  intimacy  may  be  given. 
Admiral  Penn,  the  father  of  William,  Benedict*  says,  was 
an  "English  Baptist."  William  Penn  himself,  though  a 
Quaker,  entertained  strong  Baptist  sentiments.  In  enacting 
laws  for  the  government  of  Pennsylvania  he  recognized  those 
rights  for  which  Baptists  have  so  earnestly  contended,  and 
which  had  already  been  incorporated  by  Roger  Williams  in 
the  statutes  of  Rhode  Island. 

Rev.  Thomas  Dungan  was  born  in  Ireland.  Owing  to  the 
bitter  hostility  to  Baptists,  under  the  reign  of  Charles  II., 
he  came  to  America,  only  to  find  in  New  England  the  same 
spirit  of  persecution.  Coming  thence  to  Philadelphia,  his 
settlement  at  Cold  Spring  was  not  accidental.  Here  is  a 
most  remarkable  spring,  throwing  out  a  strong  and  steady 
stream  of  clear,  cold  water,  whose  temperature  is  the  same 
all  the  year  round.  It  is  thought  by  some  to  possess  quali- 
ties of  great  medicinal  value.  Tradition  tells  us  that  the 
Indians  were  accustomed  to  assemble  about  it  twice  a  year, 
and  bring  their  sick  to  enjoy  its  healing  qualities.  At  the 
change  of  the  seasons,  the  time  of  their  semi-annual  gather- 
ing, a  mist  would  form  over  the  spring,  which,  to  the 
Indian's   fancy,  assumed  the  shape  of  a  spirit,  whose  good 

^  History  of  the  Baptists,  page  595. 


will  they  desired  to  enjoy.  In  selling  their  lands  to  William 
Penn,  when  speaking  of  their  value,  it  is  not  impossible 
they  spoke  of  this  spring,  located  in  a  most  beautiful  spot 
on  the  banks  of  the  Delaware.  So,  when  Dungan  came  to 
purchase  land,  desiring  a  quiet  region,  where  he  could  end 
his  days  peacefully,  Penn,  from  the  love  he  bore  to  the 
Baptists,  and  for  his  sympathy  for  those  who  had  come  out 
of  terrible  persecutions,  offered  him  this  celebrated  place. 

With  the  church  at  Cold  Spring  it  is  supposed  the  father 
of  the  celebrated  Dr.  Benjamin  Rush,  one  of  the  signers  of 
the  Declaration  of  Independence,  was  associated.*  He  was 
buried  in  the  graveyard  adjoining  this  church.  At  that 
time  Philadelphia  had  a  population  of  2500  persons. 

Upon  the  restoration  of  Charles  II.  to  the  throne  of 
Great  Britain,  commenced  a  series  of  fearful  persecutions,  in 
which  the  Baptists  suffered  a  large  share.  In  Wales,  for 
twenty-eight  years,  during  his  reign,  "  they  had  to  meet," 
says  Davis,  "in  the  most  secret  places  by  night,  somewhere 
in  the  woods,  or  on  the  Black  mountain,  or  the  rough  rock. 
They  were  obliged  to  change  the  place  every  week,  that 
their  enemies  might  not  find  them  out.  Often  the  friends 
of  the  infernal  foe  diligently  sought  them,  but  found  them 
not.  While  the  wolves  were  searching  in  one  mountain, 
the  lambs  were  sheltering  under  the  rock  of  another.  But, 
notwithstanding  all  their  care  and  prudence,  they  were 
sometimes  caught,  and  most  unmercifully  whipped  and 
fined.  Their  cattle  and  household  furniture  were  seized  to 
pay  the  fines  and  expenses  of  the  executioners  of  the  law. 
The  safest  place  they  ever  found  was  in  the  woods,  under  a 
large  rock,  called  Darren  Ddu,  or  the  Black  Rock.  It  is  a 
most  dreadful  steep,  and  the  roughest  place  we  have  ever 

*  See  preface  to  Century  Minutes  of  Philadelphia  Baptist  Association. 


So  great  was  the  hostility  of  the  public  authorities  that 
the  Baptists  were  not  permitted  to  bury  their  dead  in  the 
graveyards.  They  humbly  petitioned  the  King  for  pro- 
tection, concluding  their  appeal  thus  : — 

O,  King,  we  dare  not  walk  the  streets,  and  we  are  abused  even  in 
our  own  houses.  If  we  pray  to  God  with  our  famiUes,  we  are  threat- 
ened to  be  hung.  Some  of  us  are  stoned  almost  to  death,  and  others 
are  imprisoned  for  worshipping  God  according  to  the  dictates  of  their 
own  consciences  and  the  rule  of  his  word. 

This  plea  was  disregarded,  and  the  persecutions  from 
1660  to  1688  were  most  bitter.  During  all  this  time  the 
annual  meetings  of  the  Baptist  Association  were  not  held, 
but  the  opening  of  Pennsylvania  was  a  source  of  hope  to 
these  distressed  children  of  God,  and  two  years  before  the 
persecution  in  Wales  ended,  by  reason  of  its  bitterness, 
several  members  of  the  Baptist  Church  of  Dolau,with  their 
families,  sailed  for  America.  Arriving  in  Philadelphia  in 
1686,  they  settled  on  the  banks  of  the  Pennypack  Creek. 
These,  with  others,  subsequently  constituted  the  Pennypack, 
now  Lower  Dublin,  Baptist  Church,  of  this  city.  Its  ancient 
records  state: — 

By  the  good  providence  of  God,  there  came  certain  persons  out 
of  Radnorshire  in  Wales,  and  over  into  this  province  of  Pennsylvania, 
and  settled  in  the  township  of  Dublin,  in  the  county  of  Philadelphia, 
viz. :  John  Eatton,  George  Eatton,  and  Jane,  his  wife,  Samuel  Jones 
and  Sarah  Eatton,  who  had  been  baptized  upon  confession  of  faith 
and  received  into  the  communion  of  the  church  of  Christ,  meeting 
in  the  parishes  of  Llandewi  and  Nantmel,  in  Radnorshire,  Henry 
Gregory  being  chief  pastor.  Also  John  Baker,  who  had  been  bap- 
tized, and  a  member  of  a  congregation  of  baptized  believers  in  Kil- 
kenny, in  Ireland,  Christopher  Blackwell,  pastor,  was,  by  the  provi- 
dence of  God,  settled  in  the  township  aforesaid.  In  the  year  1687 
there  came  one  Samuel  Vaus,  out  of  England,  and  settled  near  the 
afoiesaid  township,  and  went  under  the  denomination  of  a  Baptist, 
and  was  so  taken  to  be. 

It  was,  however,  shortly  after  learned  that  he  had  never 
been  baptized,  and  when  confronted  on  the  subject  by  the 


pastor,  he  acknowledged  his  imposition,  and  ceased  to  be 
one  of  the  church. 

It  is  to  these  lands,  and,  perhaps,  to  some  of  the  very 
Christians  named  in  the  foregoing,  that  the  following  copy 
of  an  Indian  deed  refers: — 

''I,  Richard  Mettamicont,  Owner  of  ye  Land  on  both  sides  of 
Pemmapecca  Creek,  on  the  River  Delaware,  do  hereby  acknowledge 
y*  of  my  own  accord  and  freewill,  I  have  offer*^  given  and  disposed 
of,  and  by  these  presents  do  give  and  dispose  of  all  my  Land,  situated 
as  above  mentioned,  for  me  and  my  Heires  forever,  unto  William 
Penn,  Proprietary  and  Govern""  of  ye  Province  of  Pennsilvania,  &c., 
his  Heirs  and  Assignes  forever.  In  consideration  of  w*^^  I  confess  to 
have  received  by  Ord""  of  ye  said  Govern'',  one  match  coat,  one  pair 
of  stockings  and  one  shert ;  And  I  do  now  promise  never  to  molest  or 
trouble  any  Christians  so  called,  settled  upon  any  part  of  ye  aforesaid 
Land,  by  authority  of  Governour  Penn.  Witness  my  hand  and  seal, 
Philadelphia,  ye  7th  ye  4th  month  (June),  1684. 

His  mark.  L    '     J 

Sign'd,  seald  and  delivered  in  ye  presence  of 



Indorsed  partly  by  Pen?i. — ''  Rich.  Mettam^'cont  Deed  for  Lands  on 
both  sides  of  Pemmapecka  Creek." 

The  word  Pemmapecca,  in  the  above,  leads  us  to  say 
the  stream  of  that  name  was  thus  called  at  first,  then 
Pennepek.  Now  it  is  generally  written  Pennypack.  It 
means,  a  pojid,  lake  or  bay  ;  zvater  not  having  a  current.  To 
avoid  confusion,  we  hereafter  speak  of  the  Pennypack 
Church  under  its  present  name  of  Lower  Dublin  or  Penny- 
pack  interchangeably. 

About  the  same  time,  Elias  Keach,  a  son  of  the  cele- 
brated Baptist  minister,  Rev.  Benjamin  Keach,  of  London, 
settled  in  Lower  Dublin.  He  was  born  in  England  in  1666, 
so  that  he  was  only  twenty  years  of  age  when  he  came  to 
this  country.     Morgan  P^dwards  says  of  him : — 

On  his  landing  he  dressed  in  black,  and  wore  a  band  in  order  to 
pass  for  a  minister.  The  project  succeeded  to  his  wishes,  and  many 
people  resorted  to  hear  the  young  London  divine.     He  performed 


well  enough  till  he  had  advanced  pretty  far  in  the  sermon.  Then, 
stopping  short,  he  looked  like  a  man  astonished.  The  audience  con- 
cluded he  had  been  seized  with  a  sudden  disorder ;  but  on  asking 
what  the  matter  was,  received  from  him  a  confession  of  the  imposture, 
with  tears  in  his  eyes,  and  much  trembling.  Great  was  his  distress, 
though  it  ended  happily ;  for  from  this  time  he  dated  his  conversion. 
He  heard  there  was  a  Baptist  minister  at  Cold  Spring,  in  Bucks 
county,  between  Bristol  and  Trentown.  To  him  did  he  repair  to  seek 
counsel  and  comfort ;  and  by  him  was  he  baptized  and  ordained. 

The  site  of  his  baptism  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful,  for 
such  a  purpose,  to  be  found  along  the  Delaware  river.  The 
sloping  bank  with  its  pebbly  bottom,  and  the  bend  in  the 
river,  giving  a  view  up  and  down  for  miles,  is  very  fine. 
From  then  until  the  present,  this  same  location  has  fre- 
quently been  the  scene  of  Bible  baptism.  The  Christian 
Church,  of  Tullytown,  one  mile  above,  baptize  their  candi- 
dates here.  After  his  baptism,  Mr.  Keach  at  once  devoted 
himself  to  the  work  of  the  ministry  at  Pennypack.  Success 
attended  him,  and  on  November  21,  1687,  he  baptized  Joseph 
Ashton,  Jane  Ashton,  his  wife,  Wm.  Fisher  and  John  Watts. 

So  far  as  known,  this  is  the  first  record  of  a  baptism  in 
what  is  now  Philadelphia,  and  it  probably  took  place  in  the 
Pennypack  Creek,  at  a  charming  point,  which,  to  this  day, 
is  used  by  this  venerable  church  for  the  same  purpose.  Of 
this  spot  the  late  Rev.  WiUiam  T.  Brantly,  D.  D.,  wrote 
in  1829  : — 

A  flat  rock,  which  projects  into  the  stream  at  a  certain  point,  and 
leaves  an  easy  slope  into  the  water,  has  been  for  a  series  of  years  the 
platform  on  which  the  administrator  of  Baptism  has  stood  to  propound 
the  way  of  truth  to  the  surrounding  multitude,  and  from  which  he 
has  conducted  into  the  yielding  elements  below  him,  the  placid  forms 
of  new  converts. 

The  church  at  Lower  Dublin  was  constituted  in  January, 
1688,  with  twelve  members.  The  account  of  this  event  is 
given  in  the  church  records  thus : — 

Sometime  after,  about  the  nth  month  (January,  1687-8),  by  the 
advice  of  Elias  Keach  and  with  the  aforesaid  baptized  persons'  consent, 
a  day  was  set  apart  to  seek  God  by  fasting  and  prayer,  in  order  to 


form  ourselves  into  a  church  state.  Whereupon  Elias  Keach  was 
accepted  and  received  for  our  pastor,  and  we  sat  down  in  communioii 
at  the  Lord's  table.  Also  at  the  same  time  Samuel  Vaus  was  chosen, 
and  by  Elias  Keach,  with  laying  on  of  hands,  was  ordained  to  be  a 

When  the  above  record  was  made  the  year  began  on 
March  25th.  March  was  then  called  the  first  month,  and 
that  is  why  September,  October,  November  and  December 
were  called  respectively,  as  their  names  in  Latin  signify, 
the  seventh,  eighth,  ninth  and  tenth  months.  The  eleventh 
month,  spoken  of  above,  would  of  course  be  January.  In 
1752  the  calendar  was  changed  from  the  old  style  to  the 
arrangement  as  at  present.  Previous  to  this  change  it  was 
proper  to  say  that  the  church  was  organized  in  1687,  but 
when  the  change  was  made  "  the  eleventh  month,  1687," 
became  the  first  month  or  January,  1688.  This  change  is 
the  reason  why  Morgan  Edwards  gives,  in  brackets,  the 
double  date  of  i6Sy-S. 

Well  has  Dr.  J.  R.  Murphy,  in  his  memoir  of  Rev.  J. 
M.  Challis,  a  subsequent  pastor  at  Lower  Dublin,  said : — 

Thus  this  old  church  and  mother  of  churches  was  organized  during 
the  very  incipiency  of  the  settlement,  while  yet  the  homes  of  its 
members  were  in  the  midst  of  the  Indians'  hunting  grounds.  The 
Neshammies  and  Shackamaxons  were  still  lingering  in  the  old  homes 
along  the  Delaware,  and  the  echo  of  the  Indian  war-song  had  scarcely 
died  away  when  the  songs  of  praise  to  God  arose  from  an  assembled 
church  of  Christ,  and  the  wilderness  and  the  solitary  place  was  glad. 

Mr.  Keach  extended  his  ministerial  labors  into  New 
Jersey,  to  Trenton,  Burlington,  Middletown,  Cohansey  and 
Salem.  He  frequently  preached  in  Philadelphia,  Chester, 
and  other  places.  At  that  time  all  the  Baptists  of  Phila- 
delphia and  New  Jersey  were  regarded  as  general  members 
of  this  church.     Morgan  Edwards  says  : — 

They  were  all  one  church,  and  Pennepeck  the  centre  of  union, 
where  as  many  as  could,  met  to  celebrate  the  memorials  of  Christ's 
death ;   and  for  the  sake  of  distant  members  they  administered  the 


ordinance  quarterly  at  Burlington,  Cohansey,  Chester  and  Philadel- 
phia; which  quarterly  meetings  have  since  transformed  into  three 
yearly  meetings  and  an  association. 

Thus,  for  some  time,  continued  their  Zion  with  length- 
ened cords  till  the  brethren  in  remote  parts  set  about  forming 
themselves  into  distinct  churches,  which  began  in  1689  and 
continued  until  these  late  years.  By  these  detachments 
Pennepeck  was  reduced  to  narrow  bounds,  but  yet  abides 
among  the  churches  as  a  mother  in  the  midst  of  many 

The  distance  of  the  above-named  places  from  Lower 
Dublin,  and  the  increase  in  the  number  of  baptized  believers, 
led  to  the  organization  of  churches  at  Middletown  in  1688, 
Piscataway  in  1689,  Cohansey  in  1690,  and  Philadelphia  in 

Dr.  Benedict  well  says  of  Mr.  Keach,  "  that  he  may  be 
considered  as  the  chief  apostle  among  the  Baptists  in  these 
parts  of  America."  Visiting  these  numerous  places  in  that 
early  day  necessitated  his  absence  from  Lower  Dublin  fre- 
quently, but  the  little  band  of  disciples  kept  up  each  week 
"  meetings  for  Conference,"  wherein  "  every  brother  might 
have  opportunity  to  exercise  what  gifts  God  had  been 
pleased  to  bestow  on  them  for  the  edification  of  one 
another."  In  this  way  brethren  gifted  in  prayer  and  exhor- 
tation were  brought  out,  and  the  church  enabled  always  to 
have  within  her  own  fold  those  upon  whom  she  could  de- 
pend in  the  absence  of  her  pastor. 

Differences  arose  in  the  church  relative  to  laying  on  of 
hands  after  baptism,  and  upon  other  matters  of  doctrine 
and  practice,  so  that  in  1689  Mr.  Keach  resigned  the  pas- 
torate and  devoted  himself  to  preaching  the  gospel  in  various 
parts  of  Pennsylvania  and  New  Jersey. 

The  year  that  witnessed  the  constitution  of  the  Lower 
Dublin  Church  was  also  signalized  by  the  death  of  Rev. 
Thomas  Dungan. 


Of  this  venerable  father  (says  Morgan  Edwards,  in  1770)  I  can 
learn  no  more  than  that  he  came  from  Rhode  Island,  about  the  year 
1684.  That  he  and  his  family  settled  at  Cold  Spring,  where  he 
gathered  a  church,  of  which  nothing  remains  but  a  graveyard  and 
the  names  of  the  families  which  belonged  to  it,  viz. :  the  Dungans, 
Gardeners,  Woods,  Doyles,  etc.  That  he  died  in  1688  and  was  buried 
in  said  graveyard.  That  his  children  were  five  sons  and  four 
daughters,  who  formed  connections  with  families  by  the  names  of  Wing 
of  Rhode  Island;  Drake,  West,  Richards,  Doyle  and  Kerrels.  To 
mention  the  names,  alHance  and  offspring  of  these,  would  tend  towards 
an  endless  genealogy.  Sufficeth  it  that  the  Rev.  Thomas  Dungan, 
the  first  Baptist  minister  in  the  province,  now  existeth  in  a  progeny  of 
between  six  and  seven  hundred. 

Mr.  Dungan  must  have  been  a  man  far  advanced  in 
years,  as  the  Minutes  of  the  Lower  Dublin  Church,  in 
speaking  of  him  as  baptizing  Elias  Keach,  call  him  "  an 
ancient  disciple  and  teacher  among  the  Baptists." 

December  10,  1690,  Rev.  John  Watts  assumed  the  pas- 
torate at  Lower  Dublin.  He  was  born  in  Leeds,  Kent 
County,  England,  baptized  by  Rev.  Elias  Keach,  November 
21,  1687,  and  was  a  constituent  of  the  church,  whose  pas- 
torate he  now  filled.  He  was  a  man  of  decided  talents  as 
a  preacher  and  writer,  and  most  earnestly  contended  for  the 
faith  delivered  once  for  all  to  the  saints.  He  was,  as  we 
shall  see,  destined  to  take  a  prominent  part  in  the  earliest 
history  and  founding  of  the  First  Baptist  Church  of  this  city. 
His  settlement  as  pastor  at  Lower  Dublin  was  the  last  im- 
portant event  in  the  first  decade  of  Baptist  history  in 


CHAPTER   IL— 1691-1700. 


THE  closing  decade  of  the  seventeenth  century  was 
not  without  interest  among  the  Baptists  of  this  city. 
In  1 69 1  a  division  arose  among  the  Quakers,  ''touching  the 
sufficiency  of  what  every  man  has  within  himself,  for  the 
puipose  of  his  own  salvation."  Some  denied  that  sufficiency, 
and  consequently  magnified  the  external  Word,  Christ,  etc. 
These  were  headed  by  the  celebrated  George  Keith,  and, 
therefore,  were  called  Keithians.  They  were  about  fifty  in 
number.     He  issued  several  articles. 

1.  To  inform  the  world  of  the  principles  of  the  Separate  Quakers. 

2.  To  fix  the  blame  of  separation  on  the  opposite  party. 

3.  To  complain  of  the  unfair  treatment,  slanders,  fines,  imprison- 
ments, and  other  species  of  persecution,  which  they  endured  from 
their  brethren. 

''Whether  these  complaints,''  says  Morgan  Edwards,  "be  just  or 
not,  is  neither  my  business  nor  inclination  to  determine.  11  just,  the 
Quakers  have  also  shown  that  every  sect  would  persecute,  had  they 
but  power.  I  know  of  but  one  exception  to  this  satirical  remark,  and 
that  is  the  Baptists ;  they  have  had  civil  power  in  their  hands  in  Rhode 
Island  government,  and  yet  have  never  abused  it  in  this  manner, 
their  enemies  themselves  being  judges.  And  it  is  remarkable  that 
John  Holmes,  Esq.,  the  only  Baptist  magistrate  in  Philadelphia  at 
the  tim.e  referred  to,  refused  to  act  with  the  Quaker  magistrates, 
against  the  Keithians,  alleging  that  it  was  a  religious  dispute,  and, 
therefore,  not  fit  for  a  civil  court.  Nay,  he  openly  blamed  the  court, 
held  at  Philadelphia,  December  6-12,  1692,  for  refusing  to  admit  the 


exceptions  which  the  prisoners  made  to  their  jury.  However,  the 
Keithian  Quakers  soon  decHned  ;  their  head  deserted  them  and  went 
over  to  the  EpiscopaHans.  Some  followed  him  thither  ;  some  returned 
to  the  Penn  Quakers ;  and  some  went  to  other  societies.  Nevertheless, 
many  persisted  in  the  separation,  particularly  at  Upper  Providence, 
at  Philadelphia,  at  Southampton,  and  at  Lower  Dublin.  The  Keithian 
Quakers  who  kept  together  at  Philadelphia,  built  a  meeting-house  in 
1692.  Of  these  two  public  persons  were  baptized  in  1697,  by  Rev. 
Thomas  Killingsworth,  of  Cohansey.  Their  names  were  William 
Davis  and  Thomas  Rutter.  The  first  joined  Pennepeck  ;  the  other 
kept  preaching  in  Philadelphia,  where  he  baptized  one  Henry  Bernard 
Hoster,  Thomas  Peart,  and  seven  others  whose  names  are  not  on 
record.  These  nine  persons  united  in  communion  June  12th,  1698, 
having  Thomas  Rutter  to  be  their  minister." 

Rev.  Mr.  Killingsworth  was  an  English  Baptist  minister. 
Having  removed  to  this  country  in  the  year  1686  he  began 
preaching  the  gospel  in  the  vicinity  of  Piscataway,  New 
Jersey,  and  aided  in  founding  the  Baptist  Church  of  that 
name.  About  1692  he  settled  near  Salem,  in  the  same 
State,  and  was  the  first  pastor  of  the  Cohansey  Baptist 
Church.     He  was  a  man  of  talent,  energy  and  good  sense. 

The  aforenamed  William  Davis  became  a  troubler  in 
Zion.  He  had  been  a  Quaker  preacher,  then  a  Keithian, 
and  finally  a  Baptist.  He  held  Sabellian  views,  and  was  so 
pronounced  in  them  as  to  make  himself  a  subject  of  disci- 
pline. Rev.  John  Watts  wrote  a  book  entitled  Davis  Dis- 
abled, in  reply  to  the  heresies  of  his  parishoner.  Davis 
was  finally  excluded  from  the  Lower  Dublin  Church.  At 
this  time,  in  the  vicinity  of  Pennypack,  there  was  a  body  of 
Keithians,  one  of  whom,  on  September  27th,  1697,  became 
a  Baptist.  To  this  party  William  Davis  joined  himself,  and 
became  their  minister.  In  1699  they  received  quite  an 
accession  to  their  number  by  baptism. 

After  the  death  of  Rev.  Thomas  Dungan,  Elias  Keach 
and  John  Watts  preached  as  often  as  possible  at  Cold  Spring, 
about  nine  miles  distant  from  Pennypack.  In  1692,  in  the 
Minutes  of  the  Pennypack  Church,  the  names  of  five  of  the 


Cold  Spring  members  are  given,  among  whom  is  Elizabeth, 
the  widow  of  the  late  pastor,  Mr.  Dungan. 

The  varieties  and  phases  of  theological  opinion  preva- 
lent, led  the  Baptists  to  feel  the  need  of  proper  instruction 
in  the  true  faith  for  their  children  and  the  church  members. 
Mr.  Watts  was,  therefore,  requested  to  prepare  a  Catechism 
and  Confession  of  Faith,  which  he  did,  and  it  was  published 
in  1700. 

The  Keithian  Quakers  soon  became  convinced  on  the 
subject  of  baptism,  and  "ended  in  a  kind  of  transformation 
of  Keithian  Baptists;  they  were  also  called  Quaker  Baptists, 
because  they  still  retained  the  language,  dress  and  manners 
of  the  Quakers."  These  again  divided  on  the  Sabbath 
question;  some  becoming  Seventh-day  while  the  others 
went  among  the  First-day  Baptists.  A  Confession  of  Faith 
was  published  by  the  Keithian  Baptists  in  1697.  It  consists 
chiefly  of  the  Apostle's  Creed.  The  additions  are  articles 
which  relate  to  baptism  by  immersion,  the  Lord's  Supper, 
distinguishing  days  and  months  by  numerical  names, 
"  plainness  of  language  and  dress,  not  swearing,  not  fight- 
ing," etc. 

In  1692  some  Mennonite  families  settled  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  Germantown  and  Frankford ;  and  to  these  con- 
stant accessions  were  made  of  others  who  emigrated  from 
Europe.  The  founder  of  this  sect  was  Menno  Simon,  a 
German  Baptist,  who  was  born  in  Friesland,  in  1505,  and 
who  died  in  Holstein  in  1561.  This  body  originally  were 
strict  immersionists.  Their  founder  declared,  **  After  we 
have  searched  diligently,  we  shall  find  no  other  baptism  but 
dipping  in  the  w.iter,  which  is  acceptable  to  God  and  ap- 
proved in  his  word." 

Rev.  dias  Keach  did  not  remain  long  to  witness  the 
growth  of  those  principles  he  so  earnestly  advocated.  In 
the  spring  of  1692  he  embarked  for  England  with  his  family, 


and  became  a  celebrated  and  successful  preacher  in  London. 
Hon.  Horatio  Gates  Jones,  of  this  city,  who  has  rendered 
most  valuable  service  to  the  denomination  hereabouts  in 
collecting  facts  and  papers  relating  to  our  early  history, 
says,*  of  this  first  Baptist  pastor  in  the  city  of  Philadelphia, 
after  his  return  to  England : — 

He  became  pastor  of  a  church,  which  he  was  instrumental  in 
gathering,  in  Ayles  Street,  Goodman's-field,  London,  in  April,  1693; 
and,  so  successful  was  he,  that  in  February,  1694,  he  wrote  to  Rev. 
John  Watts,  that  in  nine  months  he  had  baptized  about  one  hundred 
and  thirty  persons.  He  remained  the  pastor  of  that  church  until 
October  27,  1699,  when  he  died,  after  a  brief  illness,  in  the  thirty- 
fourth  year  of  his  age.  His  funeral  sermon  was  preached  by  Rev. 
Nathaniel  Wyles,  and  is  entitled.  Death's  Arrest,  the  Saint's  Release. 

Mr.  Keach  wrote  and  published  several  works.  First,  Four  ser- 
mons preached  prior  to  1694,  in  Pinner's  Hall.  Second,  A  Confession 
of  Faith,  Church  Covenant,  Discipline,  etc.  Third,  Two  sermons  on 
The  Nature  a?id  Excellency  of  the  Grace  of  Patience.  While  in 
Pennsylvania,  Mr.  Keach  married  Mary  Moore,  a  daughter  of  the 
Hon.  Nicholas  Moore,  who  was  Chief  Justice  ot  Pennsylvania,  and 
after  whom  the  manor  of  Mooreland  was  named,  he  being  the  owner 
of  that  tract  of  land.  They  had  an  only  daughter,  Hannah,  who 
married  Revitt  Harrison,  of  England,  and  had  a  son,  John  Elias 
Keach  Harrison,  who  came  to  America  about  the  year  1734,  and  lived 
at  Hatborough,  and  was  a  member  of  the  Baptist  Church  of  South- 
ampton, in  Bucks  county.  Pa.  The  widow  of  Judge  Moore,  subse- 
quently became  the  wife  of  John  Holme,  Esq.,  then  of  Philadelphia, 
but  aftei wards  of  Salem,  N.  J. 

For  the  history  of  our  denomination  in  this  vicinity 
during  these  early  times,  we  owe  a  debt  of  gratitude  to 
Rev.  Morgan  Edwards.  He  gathered  invaluable  material 
for  Baptist  History.  God  be  thanked  for  raising  up  such 
men.  As  a  denomination  we  have  not  given  due  attention 
to  our  history.  A  Baptist  who  is  thoroughly  acquainted 
with  the  principles  which  he  professes,  is  not  often  much 
concerned  to  trace  his  tenets  through  the  different  centuries 
of  the  Christian  era.     It  is  enough  for  him  to  find  that  the 

*  Historical  sketch  of  the  Lower  Dublin  Baptist  Church,  page  19. 


doctrines  he  avows  are  distinctly  expressed  and  commanded 
in  the  great  commission  of  the  Divine  Redeemer,  and  that 
they  were  professed  and  preached  by  his  inspired  apostles. 
Yet  he  is  not  without  testimony  from,  nor  should  he  be  un- 
interested in,  ecclesiastical  history,  that  from  the  days  of 
the  apostles  to  the  present  time,  there  were  persons  who 
held  and  advocated  the  principles  he  maintains. 

The  church  at  Lower  Dublin  was  in  what  was  then 
known  as  the  county  of  Philadelphia.  Yet  this  decade  was 
not  to  close  ere  a  Baptist  church  in  the  city  was  organized. 
Of  this  movement  Morgan  Edwards  says : — 

In  the  year  1686,  one  John  Holmes,  who  was  a  Baptist,  arrived 
and  settled  in  the  neighborhood.  He  was  a  man  of  property  and 
learning,  and,  therefore,  we  find  him  in  the  magistracy  of  the  place 
in  1 69 1,  and  was  the  same  man  who  refused  to  act  with  the  Quaker 
magistrates  against  the  Keithians.  He  died  Judge  of  Salem  Court. 
In  1696,  John  Farmer  and  his  wife,  arrived;  they  belonged  to 
the  church  of  Rev.  Hanserd  Knollys.  In  1697,  one  Joseph  Todd 
and  Rebecca  Woosoncroft,  came  to  the  same  neighborhood,  who 
belonged  to  a  Baptist  church  in  Limmington,  in  Hampfihire,  England, 
whereof  Rev.  John  Rumsay  was  pastor.  The  next  year,  one  William 
Silverstone,  William  Elton  and  wife,  and  Mary  Shephard,  were 
baptized  by  John  Watts.  These  nine  persons,  on  the  second 
Sunday  of  December,  1698,  assembled  at  a  house  in  Barbadoes 
lot,  and  coalesced  into  a  church  for  the  communion  of  saints,  having 
Rev.  John  Watts  to  their  assistance. 

In  addition  to  what  Morgan  Edwards  says  of  the  char- 
acter of  John  Holme,  we  may  add  there  are  many  illustra- 
tions of  his  ability,  prominence  and  respectability  as  a  man 
and  a  citizen.  In  a  petition  to  the  Governor  and  Council 
of  this  province,  in  1 69 1,  relative  "  to  the  cove  at  the  Blue 
Anchor  to  be  laid  out  for  a  convenient  harbor  to  secure 
shipping  against  ice  or  other  danger  of  the  winter,  and  that 
no  person,  for  private  gains  or  interest  may  incommode  the 
public  utility  of  a  whole  city  " — immediately  after  the  name 
of  Humphrey  Murray,  who  is  spoken  of  as  the  "  mayor," 
occurs  the   name  of   John   Holme.     The  position  of  this 



name  among  many  others  being  indicative  of  the  promi- 
nence and  the  respectabihty  of  the  man,  while  the  subject 
of  the  petition  is  illustrative  of  his  liberal  views  and  excel- 
lent judgment.  In  1696  he  wrote  a  poem,  entitled  "A  True 
Relation  of  the  Flourishing  State  of  Pennsylvania."  It  is 
published  in  the  Bulletin  of  the  Historical  Society  of  Penn- 

barbadoes  storehouse. 

Beginning  with  April,  1695,  Rev.  John  Watts,  pastor  of 
the  church  at  Lower  Dublin,  preached  twice  a  month  in  the 
city  of  Philadelphia,  in  the  Barbadoes  storehouse,  situated  at 
the  northwest  corner  of  Second  and  Chestnut  streets.  The 
Presbyterians  occupied  this  structure  conjointly  with  the 
Baptists.  The  Presbyterians,  however,  were  first  to  settle  a 
pastor,  the  Rev.  Jedediah  Andrews,  of  New  England. 
Coming  from  that  part  of  our  country  where  the  Baptists 
were  most  bitterly  persecuted,  his  love  for  them  was  not 
strong;  hence  he  inaugurated  measures  to  drive  them  out 
of  the  building  they  had  occupied,  in  connection  with  the 
Presbyterians,  for  over  three  years. 

*  Volume  I,  No.  13. 


In  view  of  this  conduct,  the  Baptists  wrote  to  them  the 
following  courteous  and  Christian  letter : — 

To  our  dear  and  well  beloved  friends  and  brethren— Mr.  Jedediah  Andrews, 
John  Green,  Joshua  Story  and  Samuel  Richardson,  and  the  rest  of  the 
Presbyterian  judgment,  belonging  to  the  meeting  in  Philadelphia— the 
Church  of  Christ,  baptized  on  confession  of  faith,  over  which  Rev.  John 
Watts  is  pastor,  send  salutation  of  grace,  mercy  and  peace,  from  God  our 
Father,  and  from  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ : — 

Dearly  Beloved:  Having  seriously  and  in  the  fear  of  God  con- 
sidered our  duties  of  love  to  and  bearing  with  one  another,  and  receiv- 
ing the  weak  in  faith  ;  and  knowing  that  love,  peace  and  unity  tend 
much  to  the  honor  of  Christ  and  Christianity,  and  to  the  conviction 
and  conversion  of  sinners,  and  the  comfort  and  establishment  of  be- 
lievers, and  being  desirous  of  your  company  heavenward  as  far  as  may 
be,  and  as  much  as  we  can  to  heal  the  breach  betwixt  us,  occasioned 
by  our  difference  in  judgment  (none  being  yet  perfect  in  knowledge), 
we  have  thought  it  necessary  to  make  you  this  proposition  following, 
for  peace  (as  being  the  necessary  term  upon  which  we  may  safely, 
comfortably  and  peaceably  hold  Christian  communion  together  in  the 
things  wherein  we  agree  in  the  public  worship  of  God  and  common 
duties  of  religion,  as  in  prayer,  preaching,  praising  God,  reading  and 
hearing  the  word),  viz.,  we  do  freely  confess  and  promise  for  ourselves 
that  we  can  and  do  own  and  allow  of  all  approved  ministers,  who  are 
fitly  qualified  and  sound  in  the  faith,  and  of  holy  lives,  to  pray  and 
preach  in  our  assemblies.  If  you  can  also  confess  and  promise  for 
yourselves  that  you  can  and  will  own  and  allow  of  our  approved  min- 
isters, who  are  fully  qualified  and  sound  in  the  faith,  and  of  holy  lives, 
to  preach  in  your  assemblies,  that  so  each  side  may  own,  embrace  and 
accept  of  each  other  as  fellow  brethren  and  ministers  of  Christ,  and 
hold  and  maintain  Christian  communion  and  fellowship.  Unto  which 
proposition  (that  further  disputes  and  vain  janglings  may  be  pre- 
vented) we  shall  desire,  if  you  please,  your  plain  and  direct  answer, 
that  it  may  be  left  for  us  at  Widow  Elton's  house  in  Philadelphia. 

Subscribed  in  behalf  of  the  rest  of  the  congregation  the  30th  of 
Sih  month  (October),  1698. 




To  the  above  letter  a  reply  was  returned  by  the  Presby- 
terians, dated  November  3,  1698,  and  signed  by  Rev.  Jede- 
diah Andrews,  John  Green,  Samuel  Richardson,  David 
Gifting,  Herbert  Corry,  John  Vanlear  and  David  Green,  in 


which  they  requested  a  conference  at  some  time  and  place 
to  be  appointed  by  the  Baptists,  in  order  that  they  might 
agree  upon  what  was  to  be  done.  The  19th  of  November 
was  fixed  for  the  consultation  at  the  common  meeting-house 
on  the  Barbadoes  lot,  and  the  notification  was  delivered  to 
Mr.  Andrews. 

At  the  time  appointed,  Messrs.  John  Watts,  Samuel 
Jones  and  Evan  Morgan  went  to  the  city  and  were  at  the 
place  of  meeting,  but  no  one  came.  Word  was  sent  to  Mr. 
Andrews,  and  his  attendance  was  desired ;  but  he  excused 
himself  on  the  pretext  that  he  thought  the  time  was  the 
second  day  after,  or  the  22d  inst.  The  three  brethren  waited 
all  day,  but  in  vain.  Before  leaving  the  building,  they 
wrote  a  letter  to  the  Presbyterians.  After  stating  their  dis- 
appointment in  not  meeting  them  for  conference,  they  said : 

Considering  what  the  desires  of  divers  people  are,  and  how  they 
stand  affected,  and  that  we  are  not  likely  to  receive  an  answer  to  our 
reasonable  proposition,  necessity  constrains  us  to  meet  apart  from 
you  until  such  time  as  we  receive  an  answer,  and  we  are  assured  that 
you  can  own  us  so  as  we  do  you ;  though  we  still  remain  the  same  as 
before,  and  stand  by  what  we  have  written. 

The  next  day  being  Sunday,  the  Baptists  met  apart. 
"  This,"  says  Edwards,  "  was  what  the  Presbyterians  wanted, 
in  reality,  as  more  plainly  appeared  soon  after,  particularly 
in  a  letter  directed  to  one  Thomas  Revell,  of  Burlington,  and 
signed  *  Jedediah  Andrews,'  wherein  are  these  words : 
'  Though  we  have  got  the  Anabaptists  out  of  the  house,  yet 
our  continuance  there  is  uncertain,  and  therefore  must  think 
o(  building,  notwithstanding  our  poverty.'  " 

The  Baptists  secured  a  place  for  worship  near  the  draw- 
bridge, known  as  Anthony  Morris'  Brewhouse.  Here  they 
continued  their  religious  services  unmolested  for  several 
years.  This  brewhouse  was  situated  at  what  is  now  known 
as  Dock  and  Water  Streets.    Nevertheless,  the  First  Church 


was  organized   December   ii,   1698,  on  the  Barbadoes  lot, 
as  Morgan  Edwards  certifies. 

During  the  progress  of  the  difficulty  relative  to  the 
occupancy  of  the  storehouse,  Rev.  Thomas  Clayton,  Rector 
of  Christ  Church,  sent  a  letter  to  the  Baptists,  inviting  them 
to  unite  with  the  Church  of  England,  where  they  could 
enjoy  the  comforts  of  a  convenient  house  of  worship,  or  if 
they  could  not  accept  the  proposition,  to  state  their  reasons 
for  rejecting  it.  The  reply  of  the  Baptists  was  eminently 
Christian  in  spirit,  Baptistic  in  sentiment,  and  loyal  in  its 
adherence  to  the  New  Testament  as  our  only  rule  in  all 
matters  of  religious  belief  and  practice.  Persecution  in  the 
Barbadoes  storehouse  did  not  force  the  honored  founders 
of  our  First  Church  into  retaliation,  nor  did  the  alluring 
proffers  of  the  Church  of  England  tempt  them  to  swerve 
in  their  loyalty  to  God's  truth.  Their  reply  to  Rev.  Thomas 
Clayton  was  as  follows  . — 

Rev.  Thomas  Clayto7i. 

Sir  :  Whereas  we  received  a  letter  invitatory  from  you  to  return  to 
your  Church  of  England  (dated  Sept.  26,  1698),  wherein  you  desire  us 
to  send  you  in  hiunility  and  without  prejudice,  the  objections  why  we 
may  not  be  united  in  one  community,  and  withal  that  you  doubt  not 
but  by  the  blessing  and  assistance  of  God,  you  will  be  able  to  show  thejji 
to  be  stumbling-blocks  made  by  our  wills  and  not  by  our  feaso7i  j  and 
some  of  us,  in  behalf  of  the  rest,  having  on  the  reception  thereof 
given  you  a  visit,  and  had  discourse  with  you  concerning  some  of  the 
ceremonies  of  your  church  (about  which  you  gave  no  satisfaction), 
we  did  not  think  that  you  expected  any  other  answer  from  us ;  but  in 
your  late  letter  to  John  Watts,  you  signify  that  you  have  received  no 
answer  to  your  former  letter.  We,  therefore,  taking  this  into  con- 
sideration, do  signify,  in  answer  to  your  aforesaid  invitation  and  pro- 
posal, that  to  rend  from  a  rightly  constituted  church  of  Christ  is  that 
which  our  souls  abhor ;  and  that  love,  peace  and  unity  with  all  Chris- 
tians, and  concord  and  agreement  in  the  true  faith  and  worship  of 
God  are  that  which  we  greatly  desire,  and  we  should  be  glad  if  your- 
self or  others  would  inform  us  whenever  we  err  from  the  truth  and 
ways  of  Christ.  Nor  are  we  averse  to  a  reconciliation  with  the  Church 
of  England,  provided  it  can  be  proved  by  the  Holy  Scriptures  that 
her  constitution,  orders,  officers,   worship  and  service  are  of  divine 


appointment,  and  not  of  human  invention.  And,  since  you  yourself 
are  the  person  that  has  given  us  the  invitation,  and  hath  promised  to 
show  us  that  otir  objectio7is  are  stu7nbli7ig-blocks  made  by  otir  wills 
and  not  by  our  reason,  and  we  understanding  that  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ  is  the  only  Head,  King,  Lord  and  Lawgiver  of  his  Church, 
whom  all  are  bound  to  hear  and  obey  under  the  severe  penalty  of  an 
utter  extermination  from  among  the  people  of  God,  and  that  his  laws 
and  will  are  only  to  be  found  in  and  known  by  sacred  Scriptures, 
which  are  the  only  supreme,  sufficient  and  standing  rule  of  all  faith 
and  worships,  and  not  understanding  the  constitution  of  your  church 
(with  all  the  orders,  officers,  worship  and  service  at  this  day  in  use 
and  maintained  therein)  to  be  agreeable  to  and  warranted  thereby, 
hath  been  the  cause  of  our  separation  from  her,  and  is  the  objection 
we  have  to  make,  or  the  stumbling-block  which  lies  in  our  way  to 
such  a  union  and  communion  as  you  desire.  We,  therefore,  hope 
and  expect,  according  to  your  promise,  that  you  will  endeavor  its 
removal  by  showing  us  from  Holy  Scripture  these  two  things,  as  ab- 
solutely necessary  thereunto : 

I.  That  the  formation  of  your  Church,  with  all  the  orders,  officers, 
rites  and  ceremonies  now  in  use  and  practiced  therein,  are  of  divine 

Particularly  that  the  Church  of  Christ  under  the  New  Testament 
may  consist  or  may  be  made  up  of  a  mixed  multitude  and  their  seed, 
even  all  that  are  members  of  a  nation  who  are  willing  to  go  under  the 
denomination  of  Christians,  whether  they  are  godly  or  ungodly,  holy 
or  profane. 

That  lords  archbishops,  and  diocesan  lords  archbishops,  such  as 
are  now  m  England,  are  of  divine  institution  and  appointment.  That 
the  government  of  the  Church  of  Christ  under  the  Gospel  is  prelatical 
according  as  it  is  practiced  this  day  in  your  church,  and  that  your 
ecclesiastical  courts  are  of  divine  appointment.  That  particular 
churches  or  congregations,  whether  ministers  or  elders,  who  have 
power  to  receive  persons  with  memberships,  have  not  likewise  authority 
(by  Matthew  i8  :  15-18;  i  Corinthians  5)  to  execute  Church  censures 
and  excommunication  upon  miscreants,  swearers,  liars,  drunkards, 
adulterers,  Jews,  Atheists,  etc.;  but  that  it  is  by  divine  appointment 
that  they  must  be  presented  to  their  ordinaries,  and  only  proceeded 
against  in  our  ecclesiastical  courts.  That  the  several  offices  of  deans, 
subdeans,  chapters,  archdeacons,  prebendaries,  chancellors,  commis- 
saries, officials,  registers,  canons,  petty  canojis,  vicars,  chorals, 
appavitors,  organists,  vergers,  singing  men  and  boys,  septins,  epistlers, 
gospelers,  and  such  like  offices  and  officers,  of  your  church  and  eccle- 
siastical courts  are  of  divine  institution,  or  have  any  Scripture  warrant 
to  justify  them,  and  to  bear  them  harmless  on  the  last  day. 


That  unpreaching  ministers  may  celebrate  the  sacraments  by- 
Scripture  warrant.  That  their  different  apparel,  in  time  of  divine 
service,  such  as  hoods,  tippets,  surplices,  etc.,  are  of  divine  institution 
or  have  any  Scripture  warrant  in  the  New  Testament. 

That  the  manner  of  public  service  and  liturgy  of  the  Church  of 
England,  with  the  visitation  of  the  sick,  burial  of  the  dead,  churching 
of  women,  matrimony,  etc.,  as  now  in  use  are  of  divine  appointment. 
That  the  people  ought,  by  the  rule  of  God's  word,  only  with  the 
minister,  to  say  the  Confession,  Lord's  Prayer,  and  the  Creed,  and 
make  such  answers  to  the  public  prayers  as  are  appointed  in  the  Book 
of  Common  Prayer.  That  it  is  God's  holy  will  and  pleasure  that 
saint's  days  or  holy  days  should  be  kept  and  observed  by  Christians, 
according  to  the  use  of  the  Church  of  England. 

That  instruments  of  music  are  to  be  used  in  God's  worship  by  the 
New  Testament. 

That  infant  baptism  is  a  duty. 

That  pouring  or  sprinkling  water  is  the  proper  way  of  baptizing. 

That  your  manner  of  administering  the  sacraments,  and  signing 
with  the  cross  in  baptism,  are  of  divine  appointment. 

These  are  some  of  the  things  we  desire  you  to  prove  and  make 
plain  to  us  by  the  Holy  Scriptures.  But  if  the  case  is  such  that  some 
or  all  of  them  cannot  be,  then  the 

II.  Thing  necessary  to  our  reconciliation  with  your  Church  is, 
that  you  will  give  us  clear  and  infallible  proof  from  God's  Holy  Word, 
such  as  will  bear  us  harmless  in  the  last  day,  that  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ  has  given  power  and  authority  to  any  man,  men,  convocation, 
or  synod,  to  make,  constitute,  and  set  up  any  other  laws,  orders, 
officers,  rites,  and  ceremonies  in  his  Church,  beside  those  which  he 
hath  therein  appointed,  according  as  may  from  time  to  time  seem 
convenient,  and  that  we  are  bound  in  conscience  towards  God  by  the 
authority  of  his  word  to  yield  obedience  thereunto,  or  whether  it  will 
not  rather  be  a  sore  reflection  upon  the  sufficiency  of  the  Holy  Scrip- 
tures, and  a  high  defamation  of  the  kingly  and  prophetical  offices  of 
Jesus  Christ  to  suppose  such  a  thing. 

Thus  we  have  in  humility  and  without  prejudice  sent  our  objec- 
tions, and  if  you  can,  according  to  your  letter,  show  them  to  be 
stumbling-blocks  made  by  our  wills  ajid  not  by  our  reason,  we  shall 
be  very  thankful,  and  you  shall  not  find  us  obstinate,  but  ready  to 
accept  your  invitation.  But  until  you  do  so,  and  prove  the  constitu- 
tion, orders,  rites  and  ceremonies  of  your  church  to  be  of  God,  it  is 
but  reason  that  you  should  suspend  all  charge  oi  schism  against  us, 
and  desist  from  blaming  us  for  our  peaceful  separation.  Which  is 
all,   at  present,  from  your  loving  friends,  who  desire  information  and 



unity  among  saints,  and  the  churches'  peace,  that  God  may  be  glori- 
fied through  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.     Amen. 

Subscribed  by  us,  members  of  the  general  meeting,  in  behalf  of 
all  the  rest,  March  nth,  1699. 



Owing  to  the  interest  which  gathers  about  Christ  Church 
and  our  own  history,  in  view  of  the  above,  a  picture  of  the 
church  edifice,  as  it  now  stands  on  Second  street  above 
Market,  is  herewith  given.     It  was  erected  in  1754. 



CHAPTER  III— 1701-1710. 


IN  a  previous  article  reference  was  made  to  the  Seventh- 
Day  Baptists.  Morgan  Edwards  says,  ''  They  originated 
from  the  Keithian  Baptists  in  1700.  Before  that  time,  I 
can  find  but  one  Seventh-Day  Baptist  in  Pennsylvania,  viz., 
Mr.  Abel  Noble.  He  arrived,  it  is  said,  in  1684.  His  name 
is  among  the  forty-eight  who  signed  the  reasons  for  the 
Keithian  separation  in  1 69 1.  By  him  was  the  first  Keithian 
baptized  in  1697,  and  by  him  were  the  rest  gained  over  to 
the  observance  of  the  seventh  day.  I  suppose,  therefore, 
he  may  be  called  the  father  of  them  in  this  part  of  America." 
In  the  above,  Mr.  Edwards  speaks  of  this  sect,  simply  in 
these  parts.  It  had  existed  in  New  England  anterior  to 
this  time. 

In  1 70 1  the  Pennypack  Keithians,  under  the  leadership 
of  William  Davis,  having  divided  on  the  Sabbath  question, 
"built  a  place  of  worship  in  Oxford  Township."  Their 
preacher  subsequently  left  them  and  joined  the  Seventh- 
Day  Baptists,  their  meeting-house  was  taken  from  them, 
and  they  were  as  sheep  without  a  shepherd.  Those  who 
adhered  to  the  first  day  Sabbath  joined  the  Pennypack 
Baptist  Church. 

A  society  of  Seventh-Day  Baptists  originated  in  the 
neighborhood,  in  1701,  by  means  of  the  efforts  of  Abel 
Noble.  "  In  the  year  1702,"  says  Morgan  Edwards,  ''they 
built  a  meeting-house  on  a  lot  given  them  by  Thomas 


Graves ;  but,  having  neglected  to  take  a  conveyance  in  due 
time,  the  EpiscopaHans  have  got  both  the  lot  and  the  house. 
On  the  lot  they  have  built  Oxford  Church,  and  turned  the 
Baptist  meeting-house  into  a  stable,  while  it  stood,  but  now 
it  is  no  more." 

Notwithstanding  the  above  statement,  of  the  gift  of  the 
Oxford  Church  property,  the  ownership  of  it  by  the  Epis- 
copalians is  legitimate,  and  cannot  be  disputed. 

In  1 70 1,  an  entire  church,  consisting  of  sixteen  members, 
constituted  in  Pembrokeshire,  South  Wales,  arrived  in  this 
country.  Rev.  Thomas  Griffith  came  with  them  as  their 
minister.  They  landed  in  Philadelphia  September  8th. 
The  brethren  here  treated  them  courteously,  and  advised 
them  to  settle  in  the  vicinity  of  Pennypack,  which  they  did, 
and  continued  there  for  two  years.  During  that  time  they 
kept  together  as  a  distinct  church,  held  meetings  at  each 
other's  residences,  and  observed  the  ordinances  of  Christ. 
In  the  two  years,  twenty-one  persons  were  added  to  their 
number.  The  ceremony  of  laying  on  of  hands  upon  newly 
baptized  converts  prevailed  among  the  Welsh  churches  at 
this  period,  and  was  observed  by  this  emigrant  church, 
but  the  Pennypack  brethren  disagreed,  and  for  the  sake  of 
peace,  the  newly-settled  body  from  Wales  removed  to  Dela- 
ware, purchased  a  tract  of  land,  and  named  the  place 
"  Welsh  Tract."  The  church  assumed  the  name,  and  to 
this  day  is  known  as  **  The  Welsh  Tract  Baptist  Church." 
Organized  in  Wales,  and  emigrating  to  this  country  as  a 
church,  it  was  called,  for  a  long  time,  "The  Emigrant 

Concerning  the  rite  of  laying  on  of  hands,  the  Lower 
Dublin  Church  practiced  it  at  the  first,  but,  says  Hon.  H. 
G.  Jones,  "  It  afterwards  grew  indifferent  on  the  subject.  It 
was,  however,  continued  in  many  churches,  and  at  first  the 
practice  was  insisted  on  as  a  term  of  Communion.     Grad- 


ually,  and  after  a  free  conference,  the  churches  of  Pennsyl- 
vania and  Delaware  agreed  that  the  practice  or  disuse  of 
the  ordinance  should  not  be  a  bar  to  Communion."  In 
speaking  of  the  Welsh  Tract  Church,  Morgan  Edwards 
says : — 

It  was  the  principal,  if  not  sole,  means  of  introducing  singing, 
imposition  of  hands,  church  covenants,  etc.,  among  the  Baptists  in 
the  Middle  States.  Singing  psalms  met  with  opposition,  especially 
at  Cohansey,  but  laying  on  of  hands  on  baptized  believers  as  such, 
gained  acceptance  with  more  difficulty,  as  appears  from  the  following 
history  translated  from  the  Welsh  Tract  book,  viz.,  ''But  we  could 
not  be  in  fellowship  (at  the  Lord's  table)  with  our  brethren  in  Penny- 
pack  and  Philadelphia,  because  they  did  not  hold  to  the  laying  on  of 
hands,  and  some  other  particulars  relating  to  a  church  ;  true,  some 
of  them  believed  in  the  ordinance,  but  neither  preached  it  nor  prac- 
ticed it ;  and  when  we  moved  to  Welsh  Tract,  and  left  twenty-two  of 
our  members  at  Pennypack,  and  took  some  of  their  members  down 
with  us,  the  difficulty  increased.  We  had  many  meetmgs  to  com- 
promise matters,  but  to  no  purpose,  till  June  22d,  1706;  then  the 
following  deputies  (naming  twenty-five  persons)  met  at  the  house  of 
Bro.  Richard  Miles,  in  Radnor,  Delaware  County,  Pa.,  and  agreed — 

1.  That  a  member  of  either  church  might  transiently  Commune  with  the  other. 

2.  That  a  member  who  desired  to  come  under  the  laying  on  of  hands  might 
have  his  liberty  without  offence. 

3.  That  the  votaries  of  the  rite  might  preach  or  debate  upon  the  subject  with 
all  freedom,  consistent  with  charity  and  brotherly  love. 

But  three  years  after  this  meeting  we  had  reason  to  review  the 
transaction,  because  of  some  brethren  who  arrived  from  Wales,  and 
one  among  ourselves,  who  questioned  whether  the  first  article  was 
warrantable;  but  we  are  satisfied  that  all  was  right,  by  the  good 
effects  which  followed :  for  from  that  time  forth  our  brethren  held 
sweet  communion  together  at  the  Lord's  table,  and  our  minister,  Rev. 
Thomas  Griffiths,  was  invited  to  preach  and  assist  at  an  ordination  at 
Pennypack,  after  the  death  of  our  Bro.  Watts.  He  proceeded  from 
thence  to  the  Jerseys,  where  he  enlightened  many  in  the  good  ways 
of  the  Lord,  insomuch  that,  in  three  years  after,  all  the  ministers  and 
about  twenty- five  private  members  had  submitted  to  the  ordinance.'' 

The  above,  from  the  Welsh  Tract  records,  was  translated 
by  Morgan  Edwards,  and  can  be  relied  on.  It  affords  proof 
that  the  practice  of  laying  on  of  hands  was  nearly  if  not 
quite  universal  in  all  this  section  of  the  country. 


On  the  27th  of  August,  1702,  Rev.  John  Watts,  pastor 
of  the  Pennypack  Church,  died.  He  was  buried  in  the 
graveyard  adjoining  the  meeting-house.  On  his  tombstone 
is  the  following  acrostical  inscription  : — 

Interred  here  I  be, 

Oh,  that  you  could  now  see. 

How  unto  Jesus  for  to  flee, 

Not  in  sin  still  to  be. 

Warning  in  time  pray  take. 

And  peace  by  Jesus  make. 

Then  at  the  last  when  you  awake. 

Sure  on  his  right  hand  you'll  partake. 

Mr.  Watts  was  the  first  Baptist  minister  interred  in 
Philadelphia.  The  sixteen  years  of  his  life  spent  here  had 
been  fraught  with  blessed  results,  in  laying  broad  and  deep 
in  Bible  truth,  the  foundations  on  which  our  denominational 
superstructure  has  since  been  rising  with  such  magnificent 
proportions,  to  the  glory  of  God  and  the  praise  of  his  grace. 

The  year  of  this  pioneer's  death  was  signalized  by  the 
disbanding  of  the  church  at  Cold  Spring,  after  an  existence 
of  eighteen  years  as  the  First  Baptist  Church  in  Pennsyl- 
vania. The  members  mostly  united  with  the  Pennypack 
organization,  into  the  fellowship  of  which  were  baptized, 
during  this  year,  thirteen  persons,  the  largest  number  thus 
received,  with  one  exception,  during  the  first  forty-four  years 
of  the  church's  history.  For  many  years  after  the  disband- 
ing of  the  organization,  there  were  members  of  Pennypack 
living  at  Cold  Spring. 

Ever  since  the  act  of  clear-headed  and  simple  justice,  on 
the  part  of  John  Holme,  Esq.,  relative  to  the  dispute  be- 
tween the  Keithian  and  Penn  Quakers,  there  had  been  a 
friendly  feeling  among  the  former  towards  the  Baptists,  so 
that  when  the  Baptists  were  unrighteously  expelled  from 
their  original  place  of  worship,  and  refused  to  go  to  law 
with  their  Christian  brethren  of  another  denomination  to  be 


reinstated  in  said  house,  the  Keithians  kindly  offered  them 
the  use  of  their  edifice.  This  was  in  1707,  when  the 
Keithian  ''Society  in  a  manner  broke  up,"  and  together 
with  the  invited  regular  Baptists  they  became  incorporated 
as  one  body. 

The  Keithian  meeting-house,  erected  in  1692,  was  a 
small  wooden  building.  It  passed  into  the  hands  of  the 
Baptists,  and  for  nearly  a  quarter  of  a  century  was  occupied 
by  them.  It  stood  on  the  identical  spot  in  Lagrange  Place, 
where  for  so  many  years  the  First  Baptist  Church  maintained 
their  edifice. 

The  meetings  for  conference  sustained  by  the  Lower 
Dublin  Church  developed  the  talents  of  their  young  men, 
and  kept  up  a  constant  supply  of  preachers  for  their  pulpit. 
These  young  men,  too,  were  under  the  constant  supervision 
and  encouragement  of  the  pastor,  and  acted  as  his  assistants. 

Upon  the  death  of  John  Watts,  the  church  called  two 
of  its  members  to  ordination  and  the  joint  care  of  the  con- 
gregation— Evan  Morgan  and  Samuel  Jones.  The  former 
was  called  to  the  ministry  in  1702  and  the  latter  in  1697. 
They  were  both  ordained,  October  23,  1706,  by  Rev.  Thomas 
Killingsworth,  of  Cohansey,  and  Rev.  Thomas  Griffiths,  of 
Welsh  Tract.  Rev.  Evan  Morgan's  life  in  the  active 
ministry  was  very  short.  He  was  born  in  Wales,  and  came 
to  this  country  when  young.  He  was  originally  a  Quaker, 
but  went  off  with  the  Keithians.  He  was  baptized  in  1697, 
by  Thomas  Rutter,  at  Southampton,  in  Bucks  county,  but 
the  same  year  he  renounced  his  connection  with  the  Quakers 
and  became  a  member  at  Lower  Dublin.  He  was  a  man  of 
marked  piety,  prudence  and  intelligence.  Rev.  Samuel 
Jones  was  born  in  Radnorshire,  Wales,  July  6,  1657,  and 
was  baptized  there,  in  1683,  by  Rev.  Henry  Gregory.  He 
was  a  constituent  member  of  the  Lower  Dublin  Church, 
and  gave  the  lot  on  which  the  meeting-house  stands.     The 


original  house,   built   of  stone,   tzventy -five  feet  square,  was 
erected  in  1707.    The  deed  for  the  lot  is  dated  Jan.  14,  17 10. 

The  reader  will  make  a  distinction  between  the  above 
Samuel  Jones  and  the  Rev.  Dr.  Samuel  Jones,  hereafter  to 
be  mentioned.  Both  have  the  same  name,  but  it  is  the 
latter  who  became  so  celebrated  in  our  denomination's  work 
in  this  country. 

The  year  1707,  made  memorable  by  the  erection,  for  the 
first  time  in  Philadelphia,  of  a  Baptist  meeting-house,  and,, 
by  the  occupancy  of  another,  which  the  First  Church  could 
call  their  own,  was  still  further  marked  by  the  organization 
of  the  Philadelphia  Baptist  Association — the  first,  and,  for 
over  fifty  years,  the  only  Baptist  Association  in  the  country. 
This  was  on  Saturday,  July  27,  1707.  As  the  Baptists 
commenced  to  worship  in  the  Keithian  meeting-house, 
March  15,  1707,  it  was  in  that  unpretending  frame  structure 
this  Association  was  organized.  In  the  constituency  of  this 
Association  it  may  be  observed,  the  name  of  the  Philadelphia 
Church  does  not  appear.  The  reason  was,  that  said  body 
was  regarded  as  a  branch  of  the  one  at  Lower  Dublin, 
and  the  pastors  of  that  church,  for  nearly  fifty  years,  supplied 
the  pulpit  in  Philadelphia.  It  is,  nevertheless,  a  fact  that 
in  the  meeting-house  of  the  First  Baptist  Church,  of  this 
city,  the  Philadelphia  Baptist  Association  started  on  its 
honored  and  successful  career. 

In  his  Century  sermon,*  Dr.  Samuel  Jones  says: — 
This  association  originated  in  what  they  called  general,  and  some- 
times yearly  meetings.  These  meetings  were  instituted  so  early 
as  1688,  and  met  alternately  in  May  and  September,  at  Lower  Dublin, 
Philadelphia,  Salem,  Cohansie,  Chester  and  Burlington;  at  which 
places  there  were  members  though  no  church  or  churches  constituted, 
except  Lower  Dublin  and  Cohansie.  At  these  meetings  their  labor 
was  chiefly  confined  to  the  ministry  of  the  word,  and  the  administra- 
tion of  Gospel  ordinances.  But  in  the  year  1707  they  seem  to  have 
taken  more  properly  the  form  of  an  Association ;  for  then  they  had 
delegates   from   several  churches,    and  attended  to  their  general  con- 

Century  Minutes,  page  454. 


cerns.  We,  therefore,  date  our  beginning  as  an  association  from  that 
time;  though  we  might,  with  but  Kttle  impropriety,  extend  it  back 
some  years.  They  were  at  this  time  but  a  feeble  band,  though  a  band 
of  faithful  brothers,  consisting  of  but  five  churches-  The  church  at 
Lower  Dublin,  Piscataqua,  Middletown,  Cohansie  and  Welsh  Tract. 

In  the  Century  Minutes*  of  the  Association  is  the  follow- 
ing account  of  the  first  meeting  in  1707 : — 

There  is  no  track  or  footsteps  of  any  regular  association,  agree- 
ment, or  confederation,  between  the  first  churches  in  these  colonies 
of  Pennsylvania  and  the  Jerseys,  that  I  can  find,  before  the  year  1707, 
when  we  have,  in  the  records  of  the  Church  of  Pennepeck,  this  ac- 
count, viz.:  Before  our  general  meeting  held  at  Philadelphia,  in  the 
seventh  month,  1707,  it  was  concluded  by  the  several  congregations 
of  our  judgment,  to  make  choice  of  some  particular  brethren,  such  as 
they  thought  most  capable  in  every  congregation,  and  those  to  meet 
at  the  yearly  meeting  to  consult  about  such  things  as  were  wanting  in 
the  churches,  and  to  set  them  in  order;  and  these  brethren  meeting 
at  the  said  yearly  meeting,  which  beg^n  the  27th  of  the  seventh 
month,  on  the  seventh  day  of  the  week,  agreed  to  continue  the  meet- 
ing till  the  third  day  following  in  the  work  of  the  public  ministry. 
It  was  then  agreed  that  a  person  that  is  a  stranger,  that  has  neither 
a  letter  of  recommendation,  nor  is  known  to  be  a  person  gifted,  and 
of  a  good  conversation,  shall  not  be  admitted  to  preach,  nor  be  enter- 
tained as  a  member  in  any  of  the  baptized  congregations  in  commu- 
nion with  each  othen 

It  was  also  concluded  that  if  any  difference  shall  happen  between 
any  member  and  the  church  he  belongs  unto,  and  they  cannot  agree, 
then  the  person  grieved  may,  at  the  general  meeting,  appeal  to  the 
brethren  of  the  several  congregations,  and  with  such  as  they  shall 
nominate,  to  decide  the  difference ;  that  the  church  and  the  person 
so  grieved  do  fully  acquiesce  in  their  determination.  It  was  also 
agreed  That  no  man  shall  be  allowed  to  preach  among  the  Asso- 
ciated Churches,  except  he  produce  credentials  of  his  being  in  com- 
munion with  his  church,  and  of  his  having  been  called  and  licensed 
to  preach. 

The  object  of  this  arrangement  is  thus  stated  by  Morgan 
Edwards : — 

Before  this,  vain  and  insufficient  men  who  had  set  themselves  up 
to  be  preachers,  would  stroll  about  the  country  under  the  name  of 
Baptist  Ministers ;  also,  ministers  degraded  and  ex-communicated, 
who,  with  their  immorality  too,  brought  disgrace  on  the  very  name  of 
Baptist;  which  evil  the  above  agreement  of  the  Association,  if  attended 

*Page  25. 


to,  would  in  a  great  measure  remedy.  Christ  is  the  door  to  the 
ministry,  and  his  church  is  the  porter,  for  to  it  hath  been  given  the 
keys ;  and  whoever  comes  in  at  the  door,  to  him  the  porter  openeth, 
John  X :  3  ;  he  that  climbeth  into  the  pulpit  any  other  way,  climbeth 
thither  by  an  extraordinary  call  and  mission,  and  must  give  an  extra- 
ordinary proof  thereof,  as  the  Apostles  did,  or  subject  him.self  to  a 
suspicion  of  intrusion  and  imposture.  And  it  has  been  found,  that 
they  who  pretend  to  extraordinary  call  and  missions  are  such  as  could 
obtain  no  ordinary  ones,  because  either  their  characters  or  gifts  would 
not  justify  any  church  that  should  put  them  into  the  ministry.  In 
truth  they  aie  self-made  preachers  ;  and  it  has  been  said  that  a  ''self- 
made  preacher,  a  quack  doctor,  and  a  pettifogging  lawyer,  are  three 
animals  that  the  world  would  do  better  without  than  with." 

Relative  to  the  motive  and  object  prompting  to  the  or- 
ganization of  this  Association,  Hon.  Horatio  Gates  Jones 
says  :— 

As  the  churches  increased  in  number,  and  also  in  membership, 
various  questions  arose,  both  as  to  matters  of  faith  and  discipline.  It 
was,  of  course,  desirable  for  all  the  churches  to  have  the  same  rules 
and  to  act  in  unity  ;  and  yet  each  Baptist  church  being  independent 
of  all  others,  it  was  apparent  to  the  pastors  and  brethren  that  some 
general  meeting  was  necessary  where  such  questions  could  be  freely 
and  amicably  discussed,  and  where  counsel  and  advice  could  be  given. 
Hence,  it  was  proposed  to  associate,  once  a  year,  for  this  purpose,  by 
representatives  from  the  several  churches.  This  annual  meeting  was, 
therefore,  designated  by  the  name  of  an  "Association;''  but  it  had  no 
power  or  authority  to  bind  the  churches  composing  it,  and  from  the 
very  first  was  regarded  as  an  Advisory  Coii7icil — and  such  is  the 
character  of  all  Baptist  Associations  in  America,  as  well  as  in  all 
other  parts  of  the  world. 

The  vast  field  occupied  by  the  church  at  Lower  DubHn 
required  an  additional  minister;  so,  on  September  25th, 
1708,  Joseph  Wood,  a  member  of  the  church,  was  set  apart 
by  public  ordination.  He  was  born  near  Hull,  in  Yorkshire, 
England,  in  1659,  and  came  to  America  about  1684.  He 
was  baptized  by  Elias  Keach,  at  Burlington,  N.  J.,  June 
24th,  1 69 1.  He  aided  Revs.  Evan  Morgan  and  Samuel 
Jones,  as  co-pastor  in  their  ministerial  work.  The  following 
year  two  ministers,  who  had  been  prominently  identified 
with  our  churches  in  this  city,  died — Rev.  Thomas  Killings- 


worth,  of  Cohansey,  N.  ].,  and  Rev,  Evan  Morgan,  of  Penny- 
pack.  The  latter  passed  away  February  i6th,  1709,  and 
was  buried  near  the  church.  Their  loss  was  severely  felt, 
but  the  Master  raised  up  others  to  take  their  place.  In 
1 8 10,  three  young  men  arrived  from  Wales — Jenkin  Jones, 
Benjamin  Griffith  and  David  Davis,  all  of  whom  became 
ministers,  and  rendered  successful  service  in  the  cause  of 
God  and  truth,  the  effect  of  which  is  still  felt  in  our  Baptist 


CHAPTER  IV.— 1711-1720. 


FEBRUARY  14th,  17 II,  there  was  another  welcome 
arrival  on  our  shores — Rev.  Abel  Morgan.  He  was 
born  in  Wales  in  1673.  At  the  age  of  nineteen  he  began  to 
preach  the  gospel,  and  in  1696  he  was  ordained.  Highly 
esteemed  by  his  church,  it  was  a  great  trial  to  part  with  him 
for  America.  His  voyage  was  a  tedious  and  trying  one. 
He  was  eleven  weeks  on  the  Atlantic  Ocean,  and  twenty-two 
weeks  in  the  vessel,  as  it  was  compelled  to  seek  harbor  twice 
before  reaching  its  destination.  On  the  journey  his  little 
boy  died,  and  also  his  beloved  wife.  Their  bodies  were 
both  committed  to  the  deep.  He  was  called  to  take  the 
leading  care  of  the  church  at  Pennypack,  which  he  accepted, 
and  preached  alternately  there  and  in  Philadelphia.  He 
was  a  brother  to  Enoch  Morgan,  the  third  pastor  of  Welsh 
Tract,  and  a  half  brother  to  Benjamin  Griffith,  of  Mont- 

In  the  settlement  of  Philadelphia,  there  were  persons  of 
different  nationalities  and  of  every  variety  of  temperament 
and  opinion.  It  was  not  surprising,  therefore,  to  find  in 
church  life,  as  we  have  already  seen,  much  that  was  hetero- 
dox as  well  as  much  that  was  true.  The  church  in  Phila- 
delphia was  not  to  be  exempt  in  this  variety  of  opinion,  as 
we  learn  from  Morgan  Edwards.     He  says : — 

This  church  experienced  a  painful  division  in  1711,  occasioned  by 
the  turbulent  spirit  of  an  Irish  preacher,  who  was  among  them,  along 
with  Mr.  Burrows.  His  name  was  Thomas  Selby.  When  he  had 
formed  a  party,  he  shut  Mr.  Burrows  and  his  friends  out  of  the 
meeting-house,    who,    henceforth,    met    at    Mr.   Burrows'  house,    in 


Chestnut  street.  This  was  the  situation  of  affairs  when  Mr.  Abel 
Morgan  arrived  in  171 1.  But  his  presence  soon  healed  the  breach, 
and  obliged  Shelby  to  quit  the  town,  which  he  did  in  17 13,  and  went 
to  Carolina,  and  there  he  died,  the  same  year,  but  not  before  he  had 
occasioned  much  disturbance. 

The  Mr,  Burrows  referred  to  in  the  above  was  a  Rev. 
John  Burrows.  He  was  a  native  of  Taunton,  in  England, 
where  he  was  ordained.  In  17 1 3  he  became  pastor  of  the 
Baptist  Church  of  Middletown,  New  Jersey,  where  he  main- 
tained a  successful  ministry  through  a  long  life,  and  where 
he  died  in  a  good  old  age. 

At  the  meeting  of  the  Association  in  18 12,  the  disturb- 
ance caused  by  Thomas  Selby  was  brought  up  and  referred 
to  a  committee  for  adjustment,  to  which  arrangement  both 
parties  consented.  After  a  careful  and  thorough  examina- 
tion of  all  the  facts,  the  committee  reported  as  follows : — 

With  respect  to  the  difference  between  the  members  and  others, 
some  time  belonging  to  the  Baptist  church  at  Philadelphia,  as  it  hath 
been  laid  before  us,  persons  chosen  by  both  sides,  they  having  referred 
the  whole  of  their  difference  to  our  determination ;  we,  doing  what  in 
us  lies  for  the  glory  of  God,  and  the  peace  of  the  whole  church,  in 
regard  of  the  transactions  past,  and  what  may  be  best  for  the  future, 
for  the  interest  of  the  gospel,  upon  due  consideration  of  what  hath  been 
laid  before  us,  as  followeth,  viz. :  We  do  find  the  >way  and  manner  of 
dealing  and  proceeding  with  each  other  hath  been  from  the  rule  of 
the  gospel,  and  unbecoming  Christians  in  many  respects,  and  in  some 
too  shameful  here  to  enumerate  the  particulars. 

And  first,  we  judge  it  expedient  in  point  of  justice,  that  Mr. 
Thomas  Selby  be  paid  the  money  subscribed  to  him  by  the  members 
of  this  church,  and  be  discharged  from  any  further  service  in  the  work 
of  the  ministry;  he  being  a  person,  in  our  judgment,  not  likely  for 
the  promotion  of  the  gospel  in  these  parts  of  the  country ;  and,  con- 
sidering his  miscarriages,  we  judge  he  may  not  be  allowed  to  com- 

And  secondly,  as  to  the  members  of  this  congregation,  we  do 
apprehend  the  best  way  is,  that  each  part  offended  do  freely  forgive 
each  other  all  personal  and  other  offences  that  may  have  arisen  on 
this  occasion,  and  that  they  be  buried  in  oblivion;  and  that  those  who 
shall  for  future  mention  or  stir  up  any  of  the  former  differences  so  as 
to  tend  to  contention,  shall  be  deemed  disorderly  persons,  and  be 
dealt  with  as  such. 


And  thirdly,  that  those  that  exempted  themselves  from  their  com- 
munion on  this  account,  except  as  above,  be  allowed  to  take  their 
places  orderly  without  contention,  and  such  as  refuse  to  be  deemed 
disorderly  persons. 

Signed — Timothy  Brooks,  Thomas  Shepherd,  Thomas  Abbott, 
John  Drake,  Nicolas  Jonson,  Dickason  Shepherd,  Job  Shepherd, 
James  Bollen,  Samuel  Jones,  John  Hart,  John  Bray. 

Let  it  be  noted,  say  the  Century  Minutes  of  the  Association,  that 
the  said  Thomas  Selby,  though  he  and  his  party  referred  as  above 
said,  yet  he  appeared  afterwards  very  outrageous  while  he  stayed  in 
the  province,  and  some  of  his  adherents  joined  to  other  denomina- 
tions, and  never  returned  to  seek  their  place  in  the  church,  and  the 
church  did  accordingly  exclude  them.  But  the  greatest  part  took 
their  places  personally. 

From  the  year  17 12  to  the  year  1720,  though  the 
churches  maintained  a  yearly  Association,  yet  there  are  no 
minutes  of  said  meetings.  Probably,  during  those  years 
there  was  nothing  of  special  importance  brought  before 
the  Philadelphia  Association.  In  the  meantime  several 
clergymen  of  our  denomination,  from  different  parts  of 
Great  Britain,  were  constantly  arriving  in  Philadelphia. 
These  located  in  New  Jersey,  Pennsylvania  and  Delaware, 
and  did  good  service  in  the  work  of  the  Lord. 

Among  the  early  Baptist  churches  in  this  vicinity,  for 
many  years,  was  the  office  of  Ruling  Elder's.  The  record 
book  of  the  Pennypack  Church,  under  date  of  June  19th, 
17 1 5,  says  :  "A  proposal  was  made  for  having  Ruling  Elders 
in  the  church;  bft  to  consideration  till  next  Quarterly 
Meeting."  That  they  had  such  officers  down  to  1763,  is 
proven  in  the  subsequent  Minutes  of  the  church. 

In  17 1 8,  Richard  Sparks,  carpenter,  who  owned  a  lot  of 
ground  at  the  southeast  corner  of  Market  and  Fifth  streets, 
made  the  following  devise  of  a  lot  for  a  burial  ground  for 
Seventh-Day  Baptists : — 

I  do  hereby  devise  one  hundred  feet  of  the  back  end  of  my  lot  on 
the  south  side  of  High  street,  in  Philadelphia,  for  a  burying  place  for 
the  use  of  the  people  or  society  called  the  Seventh-Day  Baptists,  for- 


ever,    in  which  said  piece  of  ground  I  desire  to  be  buried,  my  wife 
having  the  use  of  it  during  her  natural  hfe. 

It  is  probable  this  one  hundred  feet,  being  on  Fifth 
street,  was  used  for  burial  purposes.  There  yet  remains  a 
very  small  part  of  this  lot,  which  is  walled  in  on  Fifth  street 
between  the  two  wings  of  the  Eastern  Market  House.  In- 
side this  enclosure,  concealed  from  the  street,  is  a  marble 
tablet,  with  the  following  inscription  : — 

This  monument  erected  A.  D.  1829,  by  the  Trustees  of  the  First 
Congregation  of  Seventh-Day  Baptists,  residing  in  the  township  of 
Hopewell,  in  the  county  of  Cumberland,  West  New  Jersey,  and  the 
Trustees  of  the  Seventh-Day  Baptist  Church  of  Christ,  in  Piscataway, 
East  New  Jersey,  to  perpetuate  the  memory  of  Richard  Sparks,  who, 
in  his  testament  and  last  will,  gave  and  devised  this  lot  for  a  burying 
ground  for  the  use  of  the  Society  of  Seventh-Day  Baptists,  and  was 
himself  interred  therein,  A.  D.  1716,  agreeably  to  his  request  in  said 
will,  with  several  other  ancestors  and  relatives  of  members  of  the  said 
societies,  who  were  laid  within  twenty-five  feet  of  the  north  end  of 
the  same. 

A  number  of  names  follow  this  inscription,  being  those 
of  the  persons  who  erected  the  tablet. 

The  County  of  Montgomery,  in  Pennsylvania,  was  not 
formed  until  1789;  up  to  that  time  it  was  a  part  of  Phila- 
delphia County:  the  Montgomery  Baptist  Church,  therefore, 
belongs  to  this  history  up  to  the  separate  organization  of 
the  county  in  which  it  is  located.  The  first  Baptist  settlers 
in  Montgomery  were  John  Evans  and  Sarah  his  wife.  They 
were  members  of  a  Baptist  Church  in  Wales,  and  came  here 
in  1 7 10.  The  next  year  John  James  and  Elizabeth  his  wife, 
from  the  same  Principality,  joined  them.  They  were  visited 
by  Rev.  Abel  Morgan  occasionally,  who  preached  the  word 
to  all  who  came  to  hear,  at  the  house  of  Mr.  Evans.  God's 
blessing  attended  these  visits,  and  Mr.  Morgan  was  per- 
mitted to  baptize  several  persons.  They  were  at  length 
advised  either  to  unite  with  the  church  at  Pennypack,  or 
else  establish  one  in  their  own  neighborhood.     Not  being 



familiar  with  the  Eiighsh  language,  and  that  church  so  dis- 
tant, they  concluded  it  was  best  they  should  organize  one 
by  themselves.  Mr.  Morgan  approved  this  step,  and  on 
June  20th,  17 19,  they  were  constituted  as  a  distinct  Baptist 


Church,  with  nine  or  ten  members.  Revs.  Abel  Morgan 
and  -Samuel  Jones  were  present  to  assist  and  direct  in  the 
work.  The  following  is  the  interesting  account  of  the  pro- 
ceedings as  given  in  the  Century  Minutes  of  the" Philadel- 
phia Association*: — 

The  first  part  of  the  day  was  spent  in  fasting  and  prayer,  with  a 
sermon  preached  by  Mr.  Morgan,  suitable  to  the  occasion.  Being 
asked  whether  they  were  desirous  and  freely  willing  to  settle  together 
as  a  church  of  Jesus  Christ,  they  all  answered  in  the  affirmative ;  and 
being  asked  whether  they  were  acquainted  with  one  another's  princi- 
ples, and  satisfied  with  one  another's  graces  and  conversation,  it  was 
also  answered  in  the  affirmative ;  and  then  for  a  demonstration  of  their 
giving  themselves  up,  severally  and  jointly  to  the  Lord,  as  a  people 
of  God  and  a  church  of  Jesus  Christ,  they  all  lifted  up  their  right 

*  Page  19. 


hand.  Then  were  they  directed  to  take  one  another  by  the  hand,  in 
token  of  their  union,  declaring  at  the  same  time  that  as  they  had 
given  themselves  to  God,  so  they  did  give  themselves  also  to  one 
another  by  the  will  of  God,  (2  Cor.  viii.  5),  to  be  a  church  according  to 
the  gospel ;  to  worship  God  and  to  maintain  the  doctrines  of  the 
gospel,  according  to  their  ability,  and  to  edify  one  another.  Then 
were  they  pronounced  and  declared  to  be  a  church  of  Jesus  Christ; 
a  right  hand  of  fellowship  was  given  to  them  as  a  sister  church,  with 
exhortations  and  instructions  suitable  to  the  station  and  relation  they 
now  stood  in ;  and  the  whole  was  finished  with  solemn  prayer  to  God 
for  a  blessing  on  the  work  of  the  day. 

Mr.  Morgan  visited  them  from  time  to  time,  and  admin- 
istered the  ordinances  among  them.  Elisha  Thomas,  of 
Welsh  Tract,  and  other  ministering  brethren  also  preached 
to  them  as  they  had  opportunity.  All  the  early  ministers 
of  our  denomination  in  this  vicinity  were  eminently  mis- 
sionary in  their  character,  hence,  like  the  primitive  disciples, 
they  went  everywhere  preaching  the  word. 

William  Thomas  and  John  James,  members  at  Mont- 
gomery, by  the  constant  exercise  of  their  ^ifts,  gave  evi- 
dence of  ability  to  preach  the  word,  and  were  thus  occupied 
frequently.  The  history  of  Mr.  Thomas  is  of  interest,  and 
is  thus  given  by  the  late  Rev.  Joseph  Mathias,  of  Hilltown, 
whose  praise  is  in  all  the  older  churches  of  this  region : — 

He  arrived  in  this  country  about  17 12,  being  entirely  destitute  of 
all  worldly  means,  and  in  debt  for  all  the  expenses  of  the  passage  of 
himself  and  family ;  notwithstanding,  when  he  left  his  native  place, 
he  was  possessed  of  ample  means  to  plant  himself  in  circumstances 
of  affluence  in  his  new  location.  This  calamity  befell  him  in  conse- 
quence of  a  most  flagrant  act  of  misconduct  on  the  part  of  the  com- 
mander of  the  vessel,  in  which  his  property  was  shipped,  who  sailed 
before  the  time  set  for  him  to  come  on  board.  He  took  passage  on 
credit  as  early  as  possible,  but  on  his  arrival  he  had  the  mortification 
to  find  the  captain  had  absconded,  and  all  was  lost ;  and  to  add  to  his 
grief  and  vexation,  he  identified  his  goods  and  clothes,  etc.,  in  the 
possession  of  new  owners,  which  could  never  be  recovered. 

But  being  a  man  of  energy,  robust  in  person,  and  of  great  decision 
of  character,  he  at  once  applied  himself  to  industrious  efforts,  as 
many  others  in  similar  circumstances  have  done,  and  in  process  of 
time  became  a  man  of  large  possessions  in  lands  in  different  places. 


He  built  a  meeting-house  at  his  own  experse,  in  which,  for  a  number 
of  years,  he  officiated  in  the  ministry,  and  now,  with  many  of  his 
family,  reposes  in  his  own  graveyard  in  Hilltown,  where  a  suitable 
monument  is  erected  to  his  memory. 

I  must  record  here  the  arrival  in  this  city  of  another 
branch  of  the  Baptist  family.  In  the  fall  of  the  year  1 7 19, 
about  twenty  families  of  the  Tunkers,  from  Germany  landed 
in  Philadelphia,  some  of  whom  settled  in  Germantown, 
Morgan  Edwards  says  of  them,  that  they — 

Are  commonly  called  Tunkers,  to  distinguish  them  from  the 
Mennonists,  for  both  are  styled  Baptists.  They  are  called  Tunkers  in 
derision,  which  is  as  much  as  ''sops,"  from  tunken,  to  put  a  morsel 
in  sauce ;  but  as  the  term  signifies  dippers,  they  may  rest  content 
with  their  nickname.  They  are  also  called  Ttcmblers,  from  the  man- 
ner in  which  they  perform  baptism,  which  is  by  putting  the  person 
head-forward  under  water  (while  kneeling),  so  as  to  resemble  the 
motion  of  the  body  in  the  act  of  tumbling. 

There  being  no  minutes  extant  of  the  Philadelphia  As- 
sociation for  this  decade,  save  for  one  year,  the  materials  for 
historical  purposes  are  very  meagre.  Yet,  from  cotempo- 
rary  history  we  are  assured  that  the  Baptists  of  this  city 
were  not  unmindful  of,  nor  disinterested  in  the  important 
events  transpiring  about  them.  They  rejoiced  in  the  exten- 
sion of  Christ's  kingdom  in  the  regions  beyond,  in  the 
organization,  in  17 1 5,  of  the  first  Baptist  Church  in  Dela- 
ware county — at  Brandywine.  With  others  of  this  city, 
they  mourned  the  death  of  William  Penn,  which  took  place 
at  Rushcomb,  England,  July  30th,  17 18.  For  the  founder 
of  Pennsylvania  they  ever  had  a  profound  regard,  and  to 
the  last  were  among  his  loyal  friends. 


CHAPTER  v.— 1721-1730. 


IN  the  year  1722  two  of  the  pastors  of  the   Pennypack 
Church  died,  Samuel  Jones,  on  the  3d  of  February,  and 
Abel   Morgan,   on  the    i6th  of  December.     The  first  was 
interred  at  Pennypack  and  the  latter  in  the  graveyard  ad- 
joining the  church  in  Philadelphia.     In  addition  to  the  lot 
which  Mr.  Jones  gave  to  the  church,  he  also  bequeathed  to 
it  for  the  use  of  the  pastor  several  valuable  books.     Abel 
Morgan  was  a  man  of  large  influence,  good  judgment,  and 
very  firm  in  his  adhesion  to,  and  declaration  of  the  doctrines 
of    the    Bible.      He    prepared   a    Concordance  of  the  Holy 
Scriptures  in  the  Welsh  language,  but  did  not  live  to  see  it 
published.     It  was,  however,  issued  in  1730,  with  an  Intro- 
duction by  his  brother,  Enoch  Morgan.     He  also  prepared 
a  Confession  of  Faith  in  Welsh,  which  was  printed.     In  the 
fiftieth  year  of  his  age,  after  having  faithfully  preached  Jesus 
for  thirty  years,  the  Lord  called  him  home.     His  death  was 
probably  sudden,  as  in  that  year,  at  the  meeting  of  the  Asso- 
ciation "  it  was  proposed  for  the  churches  to  make  inquiry 
among  themselves,  if  they  have  any  young  persons  hopeful 
for  the  ministry  and  inclinable  for  learning ;   and  if  they 
have,  to  give  notice  of  it  to  Mr.  Abel  Morgan  before  the 


1st  of  November,  that  he  may  recommend  such  to  the  Acad- 
emy on  Mr.  Holhs,  his  account." 

We  know  not  but  this  is  the  first  record  among  Ameri- 
can Baptists  looking  to  an  educated  Ministry.  Mr.  Thomas 
Hollis,  here  referred  to,  was  a  Baptist  in  London,  England. 
He  was  a  most  liberal  benefactor  of  Harvard  Colleee,  in 
Cambridge,  near  Boston.  In  that  institution  he  founded 
two  professorships,  one  of  Divinity  and  the  other  of  Mathe- 
matics. He  also  presented  a  valuable  apparatus  for  mathe- 
matical and  philosophical  experiments,  and  at  different  times 
augmented  the  library  with  many  valuable  books.  In  1727, 
the  net  production  of  his  donation,  exclusive  of  gifts  not 
vendible,  amounted  to  four  thousand  nine  hundred  pounds, 
the  interest  of  which  he  directed  to  be  appropriated  to  the 
support  of  the  two  professors,  to  the  Treasurer  of  the 
College,  and  to  ten  poor  students,  in  divinity  of  suitable 
qualifications.  It  might  be  an  interesting  question  for 
American  Baptists  to  ask  the  Corporation  of  Harvard  Col- 
lege what  has  become  of  this  money. 

At  the  time  of  the  death  of  Samuel  Jones  and  Abel 
Morgan,  both  of  whom  participated  in  the  services  connected 
with  the  constitution  of  the  Montgomery  Church,  that  body 
had  so  increased  in  number  and  in  gifts  that  they  called 
John  James,  David  Evans,  Benjamin  Griffith  and  Joseph 
Eaton  to  exercise  their  talents  with  a  view  to  the  ministry. 
All  of  these  were  born  in  Wales. 

The  churches  of  that  day  were  very  desirous  that  the 
services  of  the  Lord's  house  should  be  conducted  with  proper 
decorum,  and  very  careful  respecting  the  admission  to  their 
churches  and  their  pulpits  of  men  from  abroad.  This  was 
illustrated  at  the  Association  convened  Sept.  23,  1723,  by 
an  agreement  then  made,  and  by  a  query  from  the  church 
at  Brandywine,  as  to  how  "they  might  improve  their  vacant 


days   of  worship,  when  they  have  no  minister  among  them 
to  carry  on  the  pubHc  work?" 

Solution. — We  conceive  it  expedient  that  the  church  do  meet  to- 
gether as  often  as  conveniency  will  admit ;  and  when  they  have  none 
to  carry  on  the  work  of  preaching,  that  they  read  a  chapter,  sing  a 
psalm,  and  go  to  prayer  and  beg  of  God  to  increase  their  grace  and 
comfort,  and  have  due  regard  to  order  and  decency  in  the  exercise  of 
those  gifted  at  all  times,  and  not  to  suffer  any  to  exercise  their  gifts 
in  a  mixed  multitude  until  tried  and  approved  of  first  by  the  church. 

Agreed  that  the  proposal  drawn  by  the  several  ministers,  and 
signed  by  many  others,  in  reference  to  the  examination  of  all  gifted 
brethren  and  ministers  that  come  in  here  from  other  places,  be  duly 
put  in  practice,  we  having  found  the  evil  of  neglecting  a  true  and 
previous  scrutiny  in  those  affairs. 

At  the  next  meeting  of  this  body,  in  1724,  it  was  queried 
"  concerning  the  fourth  commandment,  whether  changed, 
altered  or  diminished?"  The  Association  answered  by 
referring  to  the  article  on  the  Sabbath,  in  the  Confession  of 
Faith  as  set  forth  by  the  messengers  met  in  London,  in 
1679.  That  article  is  very  plain  and  decided  relative  to  the 
strict  observance  of  the  Lord's  day  in  the  worship  of  God. 

It  was  further  asked  at  the  same  meeting,  "Whether  a 
believer  may  marry  an  unbeliever,  without  coming  under 
church  censure  for  it  ?"  and  was  answered  in  the  negative. 
A  query  was  also  presented,  "  Whether  an  officer  in  the 
church  who  forfeits  his  office,  forfeits  his  membership  ?  " 
Answered  in  the  negative.  But  if  he  forfeits  his  member- 
ship, he  forfeits  his  office.  Whether  he,  if  restored  to  his 
membership,  must  also  be  restored  to  office,  is  another  case 
not  here  considered. 

The  propriety  of  this  answer  is  apparent.  If  a  minister 
or  a  deacon  be  excluded  from  a  church,  the  exclusion  ne- 
cessarily carries  with  it  deposition  from  the  ministry  and 
from  the  deaconship.  There  can  be  no  recognized  official 
standing  in  the  ministry,  when  there  is  none  in  the  church. 

It  was  further  "  concluded  and  agreed,"  in  connection 


With  the  above  query  and  answer,  "  That  a  church  ought  to 
be  unanimous  in  giving  their  voice  in  choosing  and  setting 
up,  or  deposing  one  set  up,  to  act  in  any  church  office,  or 
to  act  as  an  officer  in  the  church.  Any  act  of  that  nature, 
commenced  without  common  consent,  is  void,  and  hath  no 
power  in  it." 

At  this  session  of  the  Association  we  have  the  first  re- 
ference to  letters  from  the  churches,  and  the  authority  for 
the  character  of  their  contents,  and,  perhaps,  for  the  length 
they  have  since  attained  in  some  quarters.     It  was  then 

Concluded  that  the  letters  from  the  churches  to  the  Association, 
hereafter,  may  contain  salutations,  comtemplations,  congratulations, 
etc.,  in  one  page,  and  the  complaints,  queries  or  grievances,  etc.,  be 
written  apart ;  for  it  is  agreed  that  the  former  shall  be  read  publicly 
the  first  day  of  the  Association's  meeting,  and  the  latter,  the  church's 
doubts,  fears  or  disorders,  etc.,  be  opened  and  read  to  the  Association 

It  is  evident  from  the  last  part  of  the  above  that  the 
Philadelphia  Baptist  Association  transacted  some  of  their 
business,  in  those  days,  with  closed  doors. 

By  Dec.  25,  1723,  the  Tunkers  had  so  increased  in  Ger- 
mantown  that  on  that  day  they  organized  themselves  into  a 
church,  which  is  still  extant  and  vigorous. 

As  already  stated,  the  church  in  Philadelphia  had  no 
settled  minister  among  them;  being  regarded  as  a  branch 
of  Pennypack,  the  pastors  of  the  latter  supplied  them  with 
preaching.  "They  did,  indeed,"  says  Mr.  Edwards,  *' in  1723, 
choose  George  Eaglesfield  to  preach  to  them,  contrary  to 
the  sense  of  the  church  at  Pennypack;  but  in  1725  he  left 
them  and  went  to  Middletown,"  and  preached  to  the  church 
there  until  his  death. 

Benjamin  Griffith  was  ordained  to  the  gospel  ministry, 
Oct.  23,  1725,  and  became  the  first  pastor  of  the  church  at 
Montgomery,  of  which,  for  several  years,  he  had  been  an 
exemplary  and  earnest  member.     Revs.  Elisha  Thomas  and 


Jenkin  Jones  assisted  in  the  services  of  ordination.  In  view 
of  a  recent  claim  in  Wales,  that  the  above  is  an  ancestor 
of  the  Rev.  Benjamin  Grifiith,  D.  D.,  at  present  the  honored 
and  successful  Secretary  of  the  American  Baptist  Publica- 
tion Society,  we  deem  it  proper  to  state  that  the  claim  is 
without  foundation. 

This  church  was  soon  called  to  receive  members  who 
had  been  dismissed  under  peculiar  circumstances,  as  the 
following  query  from  them  to  the  Association,  in  1726,  in- 
timates : — 

In  case  there  might  be  a  division,  and  on  the  division  a  rent  and 
separation  follow  in  any  church  in  Great  Britain,  and  each  party  com- 
bining together  in  church  form,  each  being  sound  in  the  faith,  and 
during  the  separation  both  parties  recommend  members  unto  us  here, 
as  in  full  communion  with  them,  how  may  the  churches  here  proceed 
in  such  a  case  ? 

Answer. — We  do  advise  that  the  churches  here  may  take  no  further 
notice  of  the  letters  by  such  persons  brought  here,  than  to  satisfy 
themselves  that  such  are  baptized  persons,  and  of  a  regular  conversa- 
tion, and  to  take  such  into  church  covenant  as  if  they  had  not  been 
members  of  any  church  before. 

We  come  now  to  the  settlement  of  Rev.  Jenkin  Jones  in 
the  pastorate  of  the  Pennypack  Church,  which  occurred 
June  17,  1726.  He  was  born  in  Wales  in  1696,  and  came 
to  this  country  in  17 10.  He  does  not  seem  to  have  been  a 
member  of  a  church  when  he  left  Wales.  He  was  called  to 
the  ministry  in  Welsh  Tract  in  1724,  and  removed  to  Phila- 
delphia in  1725. 

William  Kinnersley  was  an  assistant  to  Mr.  Jones,  at 
Pennypack,  in  connection  with  Rev.  Joseph  Wood,  already 
mentioned.  Mr.  Kinnersley  was  born  in  Leominster,  Eng- 
land, in  1669.  He  came  to  America  Sept.  12,  17 14,  and 
was  never  ordained.  Oct.  24,  1727,  Joseph  Eaton  was  or- 
dained to  the  gospel  ministry  at  Montgomery,  and  became 
the  assistant  to  the  pastor,  Benjamin  Griffith,  who,  with 
Rev.  Elisha  Thomas,  participated  in  the  ordination  services. 


This  church  presented  a  practical  query  to  the  Associa- 
tion, in  1728,  "Whether  a  church  is  bound  to  grant  a  letter 
of  dismission  to  any  member  to  go  to  another  church,  while 
his  residence  is  not  removed?"  Answered  in  the  negative, 
"we  having  neither  precept  nor  precedent  for  such  a  practice 
in  Scripture." 

How  the  subject  of  laying  on  of  hands  was  regarded  at 
this  time  may  be  learned  from  a  query  presented  by  the 
branch  church  at  Philadelphia,  to  the  Association,  in  1729, 
"  Suppose  a  gifted  brother,  who  is  esteemed  an  orderly  min- 
ister by  or  among  those  that  are  against  the  laying  on  of 
hands  in  any  respect,  should  happen  to  come  amongst  our 
church,  whether  we  may  allow  such  an  one  to  administer 
the  ordinance  of  baptism  and  the  Lord's  Supper,  or  no  ?  " 
Answered  in  the  negative ;  "  because  it  is  contrary  to  the 
rule  of  God's  word;  see  Acts  xiii :  2,  3,  and  xiv  :  23,  com- 
pared with  Titus  i :  5,  and  Tim.  iv  :  14,  from  which  prescribed 
rules  we  dare  not  swerve."  This  year  arrangements  were 
made  for  opening  up  a  fraternal  correspondence  between  the 
Association  and  prominent  Baptists  in  London. 

It  was  customary  on  the  part  of  the  Association  to  send 
back  to  the  churches  a  short  circular  letter  containing  a 
general  statement  of  the  meeting  that  had  been  held,  and 
urging  to  faithfulness  to  Christ,  to  the  church,  and  in  de- 
veloping any  special  matter  of  great  importance.  The  first 
of  these  we  have  given  us  was  in  1729.    It  is  as  follows : — 

The  elders  and  messengers  of  the  baptized  congregations  in  Penn- 
sylvania and  the  Jerseys,  met  at  Philadelphia,  Sept.  27th  and  28th, 
1729,  in  a  solemn  Association,  sendeth  greeting  : 

Dearly  beloved  brethren  in  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ-.  We  heartily 
rejoice  to  see  your  care,  diligence,  requests  and  desires,  on  our  own 
behalf,  at  the  throne  of  grace  ;  and  also  your  care  and  diligence  in 
maintiining  our  yearly  correspondence  and  communion  in  the  gospel. 
We,  your  representatives  met  together  in  love,  perused  your  letters 
and  gladly  received  your  messengers.  We  find  cause  to  rejoice  that 
God  has  crowned  the  labors  of  his  ministers  with  such  success.     There 


have  been  considerable  additions  the  past  year,  in  several  churches, 
and  some  in  most.  Praise  be  rendered  to  our  gracious  God,  we  find 
the  churches  generally  to  be  at  peace  and  unity  among  themselves. 
We  think  it  expedient  to  give  you  an  account  of  our  proceedings. 
We  conferred  together,  without  any  jars  or  contentions  in  our  de- 
bates ;  our  souls  have  been  refreshed,  hearing  of  the  welfare  of  the 
churches  in  general ;  also  in  hearing  the  sweet  and  comfortable  truths 
of  the  gospel  declared  among  us  by  the  faithful  labors  of  our  minister- 
ing brethren,  which  we  hope  is  to  the  glory  of  God  and  the  good  of 
souls.  We  earnestly  desire  you  to  walk  worthy  of  your  holy  vocation, 
standing  fast  and  striving  together  for  the  faith  of  the  gospel.  It  is 
the  general  complaint  of  many  that  there  is  much  lukewarmness  and 
deadness  in  matters  of  religion,  which  we  hope  is  not  a  mere  compli- 
ment, but  rather  the  grief  of  the  churches.  In  order  to  remedy  this 
soul  distemper,  our  advice  and  desire  is  that  you  be  diligent  to  keep 
your  places  in  the  house  of  God ;  be  frequent  and  instant  in  prayer, 
both  in  secret  and  in  public ;  strive  after  the  life  and  power  of  religion  ; 
make  religion  your  earnest  business ;  keep  your  garments  undefiled 
from  the  world ;  walk  as  becomes  saints  before  God  and  men ;  improve 
your  opportunities  in  all  religious  duties,  both  among  your  families 
and  in  the  church.  Stand  fast  for  the  defending  and  maintaining  of 
the  ordinances  of  Christ ;  wait  on  God  in  them,  that  you  may  reap 
the  benefits  of  Christ  by  them.  Strive  to  keep  together,  maintaining 
the  unity  of  the  Spirit  in  the  bond  of  peace ;  always  resisting  the 
assaults  of  Satan,  who  waiteth  opportunities  to  disturb  the  peace  of 
God's  children.  Be  careful  that  you  do  nothing  that  may  tend  to 
breed  disturbances  in  the  church  of  God. 

From  this  excellent  epistle,  the  first  of  the  kind  extant  in 
this  country,  has  sprung  the  various  styles  of  circular  letters 
now  furnished  in  our  different  Associational  meetings.  All 
those  of  the  Philadelphia  Association  would,  if  gathered 
together,  furnish  a  valuable,  interesting  and  profitable  book. 
In  1729,  for  the  first  time,  the  names  of  the  messengers 
(twenty-two  in  all)  to  the  Association  appear.  They  are  as 
follows : — 

Jno.  David,  Ben  Stelle,  Owen  Thomas,  Geo.  Hugh,  Gershom 
Mott,  Joseph  Eaton,  Jno.  Devonald,  John  Welledge,  Wm.  Kinnersley, 
Samuel  Osgood,  John  Clarkson,  John  Holmes,  Jeremiah  Kollet,  John 
Bartholomew,  John  Heart,  Robert  Chalfant,  Elisha  Thomas,  George 
Eaton,  Dickison  Shephard,  Jenkin  Jones,  Ebenezer  Smith,  Simon 


A  century  and  a  half  has  passed  away  since  these  names 
were  registered.  Most  of  them  are  now  strange  in  our 
Baptist  Zion,  but  others  are  yet  quite  famiHar.  Descendants 
of  these  honored  men  are  still  identified  with  God's  Israel, 
and  worthily  working  for  that  cause  so  dear  to  the  fathers. 


CHAPTER  VI.— 1731-1740. 


WITH  the  constant  growth  of  Philadelphia,  and  the 
corresponding  progress  of  the  Baptist  congrega- 
tion, a  larger  and  more  attractive  meeting-house  was  needed, 
hence  the  old  frame  structure,  which  had  stood  for  nearly 
forty  years,  was  taken  down,  and  in  173 1,  on  the  same  spot, 
a  neat  bfick  building  was  erected.  This  was  42  by  30 
feet.  To  build  this  edifice  was  a  great  burden  upon  them, 
as  they  informed  the  Association  that  year  "  that  they  have 
been  at  a  great  charge  in  building  a  meetinghouse,  which  is 
to  be  very  heavy,  unless  the  rest  of  the  churches  of  the 
same  order  will  find  it  in  their  hearts  to  contribute  towards 
the  defraying  of  the  same." 

The  scrupulous  regard  of  Baptists  for  the  rights  of  con- 
science and  religious  liberty  were  exerting  a  good  influence. 
The  position  taken  by  John  Holme,  the  Baptist  magistrate, 
in  1692,  relative  to  religious  disputes,  had  not  been  forgotten, 
and  the  members  of  the  denomination  maintained  that  all, 
of  every  creed,  should  freely  maintain  their  religious  belief, 
and  enjoy  that  liberty  which  was  guaranteed  to  them 
by  the  Charter  of  Pennsylvania,  This  was  their  position 
in  1733,  when  a  few  families  of  the  Roman  Catholic  faith, 
had  arrived  and  erected  a  small  chapel  in  Philadelphia. 
The  colonial  officers  were  alarmed  at  this  movement,  and 
Governor  Gordon  brought  the   matter  before  the  Council, 


and  informed  them  that  '*  a  house  had  been  lately  built  on 
Walnut  street,  in  Philadelphia,  wherein  mass  was  openly- 
celebrated  by  a  Catholic  priest,  contrary  to  the  laws  of  Eng- 
land." The  citizens  of  the  Baptist  persuasion  and  others 
claimed  that  Catholics  and  all  other  sects  were  protected  by 
the  laws  which  had  been  established  by  William  Penn,  and 
that  all  were  equally  entitled  to  religious  liberty.  The 
Council,  therefore,  wisely  refrained  from  any  interference. 

In  January,  173 1,  the  Assembly  of  Pennsylvania  had  a 
bill  before  it,  enabling  religious  societies  to  purchase  lands 
for  churches,  meeting-houses  and  the  like.  The  members 
of  Christ  Church  took  exception  to  this  bill  as  it  would 
injure  the  right  which  they  considered  certain  of  their 
number  possessed  in  the  lot  on  which  the  Baptist  meeting- 
house stood.  But  the  bill  passed.  The  Christ  Church  peo- 
ple then  tried  to  induce  the  Governor  to  withhold  his  signa- 
ture from  the  bill.  This  opposition  was  really  aroused  be- 
cause the  Baptists,  who  had  held  their  property  for  twenty- 
six  years,  still  claimed  it.  The  Keithians  had  conveyed 
the  lot  to  Thomas  Budd,  Thomas  Peart,  Ralph  Ward  and 
James  Poulter,  in  fee,  to  hold  it  for  the  Christian  Quakers, 
for  a  meeting-house,  and  for  such  use  or  uses  as  the  major 
part  of  them  should  appoint,  allow  or  approve  of.  It  was 
averred  by  the  Episcopalians  that  a  majority  of  the  Keithians 
became  members  of  Christ  Church,  particularly  Thomas 
Peart  and  Ralph  Ward,  and  that  they  had  been  granted  the 
use  of  the  Keithian  meeting-house.  The  Baptists  replied 
that  they  had  occupied  the  property  by  invitation  of  the 
Keithians  for  twenty-six  years,  and  that  the  Keithians  had 
become  Baptists.  As  to  the  occupancy  of  the  property  by 
Christ  Church,  the  Baptists  said. 

Before  the  Church  of  England  had  any  public  place  of  worship, 
the  Society  (Keithians  or  Christian  Quakers)  did,  at  their  request, 
grant  to  the  said  church  the  use  of  the  house  and  lot,  now  in  contro- 


versy,  between  the  hours  of  twelve  and  three,  on  each  Sunday,  the 
said  Society  themselves  assembhng  there  at  other  hours,  both  before 
and  after,  in  the  same  day.  This  permission  graciously  given  could 
not  by  any  ingenuity  be  tortured  into  a  conveyance  of  the  title  to  the 

In  1733,  Thomas  Peart,  the  only  surviving  trustee,  deeded 
the  property  to  Christ  Church  for  charitable  purposes. 

"In  1734,"  says  Mr.  Edwards,  '^an  incident  occurred 
that  hke  to  have  deprived  the  church  both  of  their  house 
and  lot ;  for  then  one  Thomas  Peart  died,  after  having  made 
a  conveyance  of  the  premises  to  the  Church  of  England. 
The  vestry  demanded  possession,  but  the  Baptists  refused, 
and  a  lawsuit  commenced,  which  brought  the  matter  to  a 
hearing  before  the  Assembly.  The  Episcopalians  being 
discouraged  offered  to  give  up  the  claim  for  ^^50.  The 
offer  was  accepted  and  contention  ceased." 

On  the  13th  of  February,  1734,  William  Kinnersley,  an 
assistant  minister  at  Pennypack,  died.  He  was  the  father 
of  Rev.  Ebenezer  Kinnersley,  hereafter  to  be  mentioned. 

In  the  year  1 737  there  arrived  in  this  city,  with  his 
parents,  a  little  boy  only  two  years  of  age.  His  name  was 
Samuel  Jones.  Probably  no  one  was  then  impressed  with 
the  possibilities  that  were  wrapt  up  in  the  future  of  that 
lad,  as,  for  the  first  time,  he  placed  his  feet  on  the 
wharf  at  Philadelphia.  But,  before  his  death,  at  Lower 
Dublin,  in  1814,  he  rose  to  distinction  and  great  usefulness, 
as  will  be  seen.  In  the  same  year  another  Samuel  appeared 
in  this  city,  who  was  destined  to  equal  renown.  He  was 
born  here  on  the  27th  of  February,  spent  the  early  part  of 
his  life  here,  and  in  this,  his  native  city,  was  married  to  a 
Miss  Morgan.  Entering  the  ministry,  he  frequently  visited 
Philadelphia,  but  the  scene  of  his  greatest  efficiency  was  in 
Boston.     I  refer  to  Rev.  Samuel  Stillman,  D.  D. 

On  Saturday,  November  2d,  1739,  Rev.  George  White- 
field  arrived  in  Philadelphia.     In  his  diary  for  the  following 


Monday  is  this  record :  *'  Was  visited  in  the  afternoon  by 
the  Presbyterian  minister.  Went  afterwards  to  see  the  Bap- 
tist minister,  who  seems  to  be  a  spiritual  man."  The  next 
day  both  of  these  ministers  visited  Whitefield.  Rev.  Jenkin 
Jones  was  the  Baptist  minister  referred  to,  and  the  reference 
of  the  renowned  and  godly  Whitefield  to  the  spirituality  of 
the  man  is  a  worthy  compliment  to  one  of  the  ablest  and 
most  useful  of  the  early  Baptists  of  this  city. 

A  variety  of  questions  were  each  year  presented  to  the 
Association,  some  of  them  very  practical  and  others,  at  this 
day,  seem  without  point,  yet  when  presented  were  doubtless 
regarded  as  important.  By  the  year  1735,  many  in  the 
Association  awoke  to  the  importance  of  keeping  a  regular 
record  of  the  proceedings  of  that  body.  An  effort  was 
made  to  secure  a  minute  book,  and  to  elect  a  clerk  and  an 
assistant,  but  the  matter  failed.  There  were  those  then,  as 
now,  who  could  not  see  the  importance  of  keeping  such  a 

Realizing  the  necessity  of  catechetical  instruction,  the 
Association,  in  1738, 

Agreed,  that  since  the  catechisms  are  expended,  and  a  few  or  none 
to  be  had,  and  our  youth  thereby  not  Hkely  to  be  instructed  in  the 
fundaments  of  saving  knowledge,  that  the  several  congregations  we 
represent  should  consult  amongst  themselves  what  they  can  raise  of 
money  for  so  good  a  design,  and  send,  against  the  ist  of  May  next, 
by  their  letters,  to  Mr.  Jenkin  Jones  or  John  Holme,  in  Philadelphia, 
that  they  may  know  what  number  to  draw  out  of  press. 

The  entire  number  of  persons  baptized  in  this  city,  dur- 
ing this  decade,  in  connection  with  the  Baptist  churches, 
was  only  fifty-six.  The  town  was  comparatively  small,  the 
people  very  much  scattered,  and  the  growth  of  the  denomi- 
nation slow,  yet  in  that  very  slowness  enterprises  were  in- 
augurated, principles  maintained  and  beginnings  made, 
which  have  contributed  towards  the  subsequent  permanence 
and  growth  of  the  churches  here  and  elsewhere. 


CHAPTER  VIL— 1741-1750. 


IN  1742  the  Philadelphia  Baptist  Association  adopted 
the  Confession  of  Faith,  set  forth  by  the  messengers  of 
baptized  congregations,  met  in  London  in  1689 ;  a  short 
treatise  on  Church  Discipline;  an  article  concerning  the 
singing  of  psalms  in  the  worship  of  God,  and  one  relative 
to  the  laying  on  of  hands  upon  baptized  believers.  These 
were  printed  in  one  volume  by  Benjamin  Franklin,  in  1743. 
A  few  copies  of  this  issue  are  still  extant,  but  they  are  in 
the  hands  of  private  parties.  Subsequent  editions  were 
issued  in  1773,  1798  and  1831. 

The  subjects  of  the  various  articles  in  the  Confession  of 
Faith,  as  published  in  1742,  are  in  the  following  order  : — 
Holy  Scriptures;  God  and  the  Holy  Trinity;  God's  De- 
crees ;  Divine  Providence ;  Fall  of  Man ;  Sin  and  Punish- 
ment Thereof;  God's  Covenant;  Christ  the  Mediator;  Free 
Will;  Effectual  Calling;  Justification;  Adoption;  Sancti- 
fication ;  Saving  Faith  ;  Repentance  Unto  Life  and  Salva- 
tion ;  Good  Works  ;  Perseverance  of  the  Saints ;  Assurance 
of  Grace  and  Salvation ;  the  Law  of  God  ;  the  Gospel  and 
the  Extent  of  the  Grace  Thereof;  Christian  Liberty  and 
Liberty  of  Conscience  ;  Religious  Worship  and  the  Sabbath- 


day ;  Singing  of  Psalms  in  Public  Worship ;  Lawful  Oaths 
and  Vows;  the  Civil  Magistrate;  Marriage;  the  Church; 
the  Communion  of  Saints;  Baptism  and  the  Lord's  Supper; 
Baptism ;  Laying  on  of  Hands  ;  State  of  Man  After  Death, 
and  the  Resurrection  of  the  Dead ;  the  Last  Judgment. 
In  all  thirty-four  articles. 

The  treatise  on  Church  Discipline  has  articles  on — a 
True  and  Orderly  Church ;  Ministers,  &c.;  Ruling  Elders  ; 
Deacons;  Admission  of  Church  Members;  Duties  of  Church 
Members;  the  Manifold  Duties  of  Christians,  especially  to 
the  Household  of  Faith;  Church  Censures — Admonition — 
Suspension — Excommunication. 

In  1743,  Ebenezer  Kinnersley  was  ordained  to  the  work 
of  the  gospel  ministry.  He  was  born  in  Gloucester,  Eng- 
land, November  30,  171 1.  In  17 14  his  father  removed  to 
America  and  settled  near  the  Pennypack  Church.  On  the 
6th  of  September,  1735,  young  Kinnersley  was  baptized 
and  became  a  member  of  that  church.  Hon.  Horatio  Gates 
Jones,  in  his  History  of  Lower  Dublin  Baptist  Church, 
says  of  him: — 

Owing  to  delicate  health  and  other  objects  of  interest  that  engaged 
his  attention,  he  never  became  a  pastor.  He  was  one  of  the  few,  in 
Philadelphia,  who  had  doubts  in  regard  to  the  character  of  the 
preaching  which  was  introduced  by  Whitefield ;  nor  did  he  hesitate 
to  enter  a  solemn  protest  against  it  from  the  pulpit  of  the  Baptist 
church.  This  happened  on  the  6th  of  July,  1740,  and  the  excitement 
l)roduced  by  the  sermon  was  so  great  that  he  was  absolutely  forbidden 
the  privilege  of  the  Communion.  For  some  time  he  attended  the 
Episcopal  church,  but  ere  long  the  difficulty  was  settled,  and  when 
the  Philadelphia  Church  was  organized  as  a  distinct  society  from  that 
at  Pennypack,  he  was  one  of  the  constituent  members,  and  remained 
connected  with  it  to  his  death.  The  year  1746  marked  an  epoch  in 
his  life ;  for  his  attention  was  then  first  directed  to  the  wonderful  and 
unknown  properties  of  the  Electric  Fire,  as  it  was  then  termed. 

He  became  an  intimate  companion  of  Benjamin  Frank- 
lin, and  one  of  the  most  remarkable  scientists  of  his  day. 

JOSEPH  Eaton's  defection.  69 

In  the  year  1744  a  difficulty  occurred  at  Montgomery. 
Rev.  Joseph  Eaton  rejected  the  Hteral  sense  of  the  eternal 
generation  and  sonship  of  Jesus  Christ.  The  brethren  of 
the  ministry  labored  with  him  in  a  Christian  spirit,  and  at 
the  meeting  of  the  Association  he  dismissed  his  skepticism 
on  the  subject,  so  that  what  threatened  to  be  a  serious 
matter  was  speedily  healed,  and  this  great  and  all-important 
doctrine  not  only  firmly  believed  in  but  also  faithfully  pro- 

The  year  which  witnessed  Kinnersley's  attention  first 
directed  to  the  properties  of  electricity  was  signalized  by 
the  distinct  organization  of  the  First  Baptist  Church.  Having 
been  regarded  as  a  branch  of  Pennypack,  a  question  arose 
whether  said  church  was  not  entitled  to  a  part  of  the  legacies 
bestowed  on  the  branch  in  Philadelphia.  This  was  a  ground- 
less question,  but  for  fear  the  design  of  their  benefactors 
should  be  perverted,  the  church,  then  consisting  of  fifty- six 
members,  was  formally  constituted  May  15,  1746.  Letters 
of  dismission  for  this  purpose  had  been  granted  by  Penny- 
pack  on  the  3d  of  May.  Having  had,  and  exercised  in 
reality,  all  the  functions  of  a  church  from  the  first  establish- 
ment in  1698,  that  year  is  certainly  the  proper  one  to  date 
the  commencement  of  their  history.  Rev.  Jenkin  Jones 
now  severed  his  connection  as  pastor  of  the  mother  church 
and  became  the  first  pastor  of  the  one  in  Philadelphia. 

The  account  of  the  above  transaction  is  given  in  the 
records  of  the  parent  church,  as  follows : — 

April  5,  1746  ;  the  members  of  the  church  at  Pennypack,  residing 
at  the  city  of  Philadelphia,  petitioned  to  the  monthly  meeting  at 
Pennypack  for  a  separation  for  themselves  and  for  Mr.  Jenkin  Jones, 
the  pastor  of  the  church,  also  (his  residence  being  among  them),  to 
answer  which  the  church  at  Pennypack  took  a  month  to  consider. 

May  3,  1746;  the  church  at  Pennypack  having  considered  their 
brethren's  reasons  for  a  separation,  and  finding  them  to  be  of  weight, 
a  dismission  was  granted,  and  they  were  soon  after  constituted  and 
settled  a  regular  gospel  church,  and  their  messengers  were  received 
at  the  next  annual  Association  at  Philadelphia. 



The  names  Oi^  the  constituent  members  were :  Jenkin 
Jones,  Ebenezer  Kinnersley,  William  Branson,  Andrew 
Edge,  Thomas  Pearse,  Stephen  Anthony,  Augustus  Still- 
man,  Samuel  Ashmead,  Matthias  Ingles,  John  Perkins,  John 
Standeland,  Robert  Shewell,  John  Biddle,  Joseph  Crean, 
Henr>'  Hartley,  John  Lewis,  Joseph  Ingles,  Samuel  Burkilo, 
John  Catla,  Thomas  Byles,  John  Bazely,  Samuel  Morgan, 
Lewis  Rees,  Mary  Standeland,  Hannah  Farmer,  Mary 
Catla,  Ann  Yerkes,  Mary  Burkilo,  Mary  Prig,  Hannah 
Crean,  Ann  Davis,  Hannah  Bazely,  Jane  Giffin,  Edith 
Bazely,  Uslaw  Lewis,  Jane  Loxley,  Esther  Ashmead,  Han- 
nah Jones,  Sarah  Branson,  Catherine  Anthony,  Jane  Pearse, 
Mary  Edge,  Mary  Valecot,  Elizabeth  Shewell,  Mary  Middle- 
ton,  Frances  Holwell,  Elizabeth  Sallows,  Mary  Morgan, 
Ann  Hall,  Phebe  Hartley,  Ann  White. 


As  already  intimated,  the  pastors  of  the  Pennypack 
church  were  accustomed  to  preach  in  all  the  region  round 
about,  and  one  of  their  stations  was  at  Southampton,  in 
Bucks  county.     Here  the  favor  of  God  had  been  so  manifest 


that,  in  three  days  after  the  dismission  to  reconstitute  the 
church  in  Philadelphia,  forty-eight  members,  all  from  Penny- 
pack,  were  organized,  April  8,  1746,  into  the  Southampton 
Baptist  Church.  Religious  services  had  been  held  there  for 
many  years,  for  John  Morris,  a  member  oi  Pennypack,  who 
died  February  22,  1733,  aged  83  years,  gave  the  ground  for 
the  meeting-house  at  Southampton  and  a  farm  of  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty-five  acres  for  the  minister's  use.  This 
church  was  at  once  received  into  the  Philadelphia  Associa- 
tion and  remained  connected  with  that  body  for  eighty-eight 
years.  Those  eminent  ministers,  Isaac  Eaton  and  Oliver 
Hart,  were  originally  members  of  this  church.  The  removal 
of  these  one  hundred  and  four  members  from  Pennypack 
to  constitute  the  two  churches  named,  diminished  the 
number  who  remained  very  considerably. 

They  at  once  took  measures,  however,  to  be  supplied 
with  preaching.  George  Eaton  and  Peter  Peterson  Vanhorn 
had  already  been  called  to  exercise  their  gifts.  A  vote  was 
taken  by  ballot,  relative  to  their  ordination,  beginning  with 
the  former,  as  he  was  the  elder,  but  he  was  not  chosen, 
greatly  to  his  mortification.  The  matter  was  then  deferred, 
and  Rev.  Jenkin  Jones  continued  to  visit  them  once  a  month 
and  administer  the  ordinances.  At  the  request  of  Mr. 
Eaton  another  vote  on  his  case  was  taken  April  16,  1747. 
This  time  it  was  by  rising  and  not  by  ballot.  He  was  again 
rejected,  but  on  the  same  day  Mr.  Vanhorn  was  elected, 
and  he  was  ordained  to  the  work  of  the  ministry  among 
them  June  18,  1747.  Revs.  Jenkin  Jones,  Benjamin  Griffith, 
John  Davis  and  Joshua  Potts  participated  in  the  services. 
Mr.  Vanhorn  was  born  at  Middletown,  in  Bucks  county, 
August  24th,  1 7 19,  and  assumed  the  pastoral  care  of  Penny- 
pack  October  31,  1747.  It  is  possible  that  Mr.  Vanhorn 
extended  his  labors,  occasionally,  over  to  Roxborough, 
twelve  miles   westward  of  his  own  church,  as  on  May  16, 


175 1,  he  officiated  at  the  marriage  of  William  Levering  of 
that  place.  Mr.  Levering  was  a  brother  of  Abraham  Lever- 
ing, who  became  a  constituent  member  of  the  Roxborough 
Church,  and  its  first  deacon.  In  1754  it  is  known  that  Mr. 
Vanhorn  preached  in  Roxborough. 

Thirty-nine  years  of  the  Associatipn's  history  had  now 
passed  away,  yet  there  had  been  no  attempt  to  keep  regular 
records  of  its  doings,  nor  had  any  history  of  the  denomina- 
tion in  this  vicmity  been  written.  Awaking  to  the  im- 
portance of  such  records,  the  Association,  in  1746,  "  Con- 
cluded, that  Brother  Benjamin  Griffith  should  collect  and 
set  in  order  the  accounts  of  the  several  Baptist  churches  in 
these  provinces ;  and  that  the  several  churches  should  draw 
out  and  send  him,  as  soon  as  possible,  what  accounts  they 
have  on  record  in  church  books  of  their  respective  consti- 
tutions, and  by  whose  ministry  they  have  been  supplied.^' 
He  performed  this  duty  faithfully,  and  the  work  begun  by 
him,  when  the  Minutes  of  the  Association  were  not  printed, 
is  preserved  in  a  large  folio  volume,  the  greater  part  of 
which  forms  the  first  eighty  pages  of  the  Century  Minutes 
of  the  Association.  But  for  his  valuable  labors  in  this 
direction  the  early  history  of  the  Association  might  not 
now  be  obtained.  In  1749  he  prepared  and  read  an  essay 
on  **The  Power  and  Duty  of  an  Association,"  which  the 
Association  directed  to  be  recorded  in  their  folio  volume. 

September  15,  1747,  Rev.  Joseph  Wood,  the  fifth  pastor 
at  Pennypack,  passed  away  from  earth,  at  the  advanced  age 
of  eighty-eight  years.  He  was  buried  at  Cold  Spring, 
Bucks  county.  No  vestige  of  his  grave  now  remains,  but 
in  the  resurrection  those  who  sleep  in  Jesus  will  God  bring 
with  him. 

The  year  after  his  death  this  church  had  considerable 
trouble  about  its  property.  It  had  been  deeded  to  certain 
trustees,  all  of  whom  were  dead,  except  George  Eaton,  who 

moderator's  name  first  given.  73 

did  not  feel  very  kindly  to  the  church,  because  it  had  not 
called  him  to  ordination  as  a  gospel  minister.  He,  therefore, 
secretly  deeded  the  property  to  other  trustees  who  were 
friendly  to  him.  This  was  discovered,  and  after  consider- 
able trouble  and  careful  management  the  matter  was  rectified. 
The  year  following,  1749,  Rev.  Joseph  Eaton,  formerly  of 
Montgomery,  died.  He  was  a  brother  of  the  above  named 
George  Eaton,  and  was  only  a  little  boy  of  seven  years 
when  he  arrived,  in  1686,  in  this  country  with  his  father, 
John  Eaton.  God  raised  him  up  to  do  much  good.  He 
was  the  father  of  Rev.  Isaac  Eaton,  A.  M.,  who  was  the 
first  pastor  of  the  church  in  Hopewell,  New  Jersey,  and  the 
first  man  in  this  country  among  the  Baptists  who  established 
an  academy  for  the  purpose  of  promoting  ministerial  educa- 
tion. In  his  church,  it  is  supposed,  partially  originated  the 
plan  for  the  formation  of  Brown  University,  in  Rhode 
Island.  He  was  its  early  friend,  and  Manning,  Smith  and 
others  of  his  pupils  were  among  the  first  to  move  in  its 

In  1749  we  learn  for  the  first  time  the  name  of  the 
Moderator  of  the  Philadelphia  Association.  It  was  Na- 
thaniel Jenkins,  a  name  worthy  to  stand  at  the  head  of 
as  noble  a  list  of  excellent  Christian  men  as  ever  graced  a 
similar  position  in  any  religious  organization. 


CHAPTER   VIII.— 1751-1760. 


IN  the  early  days  of  the  Philadelphia  Association,  much 
attention  was  paid  to  fostering  the  feeble  churches 
connected  with  it.  The  strong  supported  the  weak,  and 
the  ministers  were  appointed  to  visit,  preach  to,  and  counsel 
with  the  smaller  bands.  The  ordination  of  brethren  to  the 
ministry  was  frequently  under  the  supervision  of  the  Asso- 
ciation, and  it  was  not  an  uncommon  event  to  have  a  brother 
publicly  set  apart  to  the  work  of  preaching  the  gospel 
during  the  meetings  of  the  Association.  Up  to  this  decade 
the  Philadelphia  had  been  the  only  Baptist  Association  in 
the  country,  but  with  the  growth  of  the  Colonies  and  the 
spread  of  Baptist  principles,  the  number  of  churches 
multiplied,  and  steps  were  taken  to  organize  such  bodies  in 
different  parts  of  the  country,  beginning  with  Charleston, 
South  Carolina,  in  175 1. 

By  February  25th,  1752,  the  difficulties  between  the 
church  at  Pennypack  and  George  Eaton  were  so  far  settled, 
he  having  shown  a  better  Christian  spirit  and  more  fitness 


for  the  work,  that  the  church  on  that  day  called  him  to 
exercise  his  gifts  in  the  ministry  "  once  a  month  and  at 

In  1753,  Rev.  Ebenezer  Kinnersley  was  elected  Principal 
of  the  English  school  connected  with  the  College  of  this 
city.  This  position  he  held  until  July  ilth,  1755,  when  he 
was  elected  Professor  of  Rhetoric  in  the  College.  Such 
were  his  eminent  abilities  that  in  1757,  the  Trustees  of  the 
Institution  conferred  upon  him  the  degree  of  Master  of 
Arts — a  degree  then  as  valuable  as  it  was  rare. 

In   1754,   the    differences    of    opinion   at   Montgomery 

resulted  in  a  separation,  which  led  to  the  constitution  of  the 

church  at  New  Britain,  thus  furnishing  religious  advantages 

to  the  people  located  in  that  vicinity.     In  1756,  John  Davis 

was  ordained  to  the  work  of  the  ministry  at  Montgomery. 

He  was  born  at  Pennypack,  September  loth,   1 72 1.     After 

his  ordination,  he  removed  to  Maryland  and  was  the  great 

pioneer  of  our  denomination  in  that  state.     Relative  to  him 

in  the  Minutes  of  the  Association   for  1758,  we  find  the 

following  Testimonial : — 

Ordered  that  a  testimonial  be  given  and  signed  by  the  Rev.  Jenkin 
Jones,  minister  of  the  Baptise  meeting  or  congregation  in  Philadel- 
phia, to  the  Rev.  John  Davis,  late  of  Bucks  County,  in  Pennsylvania, 
but  now  of  Baltimore  county,  in  the  province  of  Maryland,  certifying 
his  regular  ordination,  according  to  the  rites,  ceremonies  and  approved 
forms  and  usages  of  the  Baptist  church,  and  also  his  purity  of  life, 
manners  and  conversation ;  and  recommending  him  to  the  favor  of 
all  Christian  people,  where  he  now  does,  or  may  hereafter  dwell. 

In  pursuance   of   the  above   order,   the   following  was 

given : — 

To  all  Christian  people  to  whom  these  presents  shall  come,  I, 
Jenkin  Jones,  minister  of  the  Baptist  meeting  or  congregation  of 
the  city  of  Philadelphia,  do  send  and  certify,  that  the  bearer 
hereof,  Mr.  John  Davis,  late  of  Bucks  county,  in  the  province  of 
Pennsylvania,  but  now  residing  and  dwelling  in  Baltimore  county,  in 
the  province  of  Maryland,  in  the  month  of  April,  in  the  year  of  our 
Lord,   one  thousand  seven  hundred  and  fifty-six,  was  regularly  ad" 


mitted,  ordained  and  received  holy  order  to  preach  the  gospel  of  our 
Lord  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ,  to  all  the  people,  according  to  the 
rites  and  ceremonies  and  approved  forms  and  usages  of  the  Baptist 
church  ;  and  that  at  all  times,  before  and  since  his  ordination  aforesaid, 
for  anything  heard,  known  or  believed  to  the  contrary,  he  lived  a 
holy  and  unblemished  life,  as  well  in  his  conversation  as  in  his  actions. 
And  I  do  humbly  recommend  him  to  the  notice,  esteem  and  regard 
of  all  Christians  where  he  now  does  or  hereafter  may  reside,  or  with 
whom  he  may  have  conversation  or  dealing. 

In  testimony  whereof  and  by  order  of  the  general  meeting  or 
Association  aforesaid,  I  have  hereunto  set  my  hand,  at  the  city  of 
Philadelphia,  the  sixth  day  of  October,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord,  one 
thousand  seven  hundred  and  fifty-eight.  Jenkin  Jones. 

The  above  document  illustrates  the  character  of  ordina- 
tion certificates,  as  well  as  the  care  taken  in  drawing  them 
up,  and  in  furnishing  the  ordained  with  them,  more  than  a 
hundred  years  ago. 

The  churches  were  becoming  impressed  with  the  im- 
portance of  providing  means  and  encouraging  institutions 
for  furnishing  a  liberal  education  to  the  young,  and  espe- 
cially to  those  who  were  to  enter  the  ministry.  Hence,  at 
the  Association  in  1756,  it  was  "Concluded  to  raise  a  sum 


of  money  towards  the  encouragement  of  a  Latin  Grammar 
School  for  the  promotion  of  learning  amongst  us,  under 
the  care  of  Brother  Isaac  Eaton,  and  the  inspection  of  our 
brethren,  Abel  Morgan,  Isaac  Stille,  Abel  Griffith  and  Peter 
Peterson  Vanhorn." 

association's  jubilee.  77 

This  was  the  first  effort  in  this  vicinity  to  raise  money 
for  educational  purposes  under  the  auspices  of  our  denomi- 
nation. The  beginning  was  small,  very  insignificant,  but 
from  it  has  grown  that  magnificent  system  of,  and  facility 
for  education  among  us  in  which  we  feel  such  a  pride  and 
interest.  The  following  year  the  Association  again  "  con- 
cluded to  request  the  churches  to  contribute  their  mite 
towards  the  support  of  the  Latin  Grammar  School,  to  pro- 
mote useful  learning  among  us."  In  1758  it  was  again 
*'  Resolved,  to  desire  our  churches  to  continue  a  contribution 
toward  a  Grammar  School,  under  consideration  that  what 
has  been  done  hitherto  in  that  way  appears  to  have  been 
well  laid  out,  there  being  a  number  of  well  inclined  youths 
applying  themselves  to  learning  therein." 

In  1757,  the  Association  had  been  in  existence  fifty 
years,  and  by  that  .time  twenty-five  churches,  situated 
respectively  in  the  provinces  of  Pennsylvania,  New  Jersey, 
Delaware,  Connecticut,  New  York,  Virginia  and  Maryland 
had  become  connected  with  it. 

The  dismissal  of  members  from  Montgomery  to  con- 
stitute the  church  at  New  Britain,  led  to  the  more  earnest 
development,  as  is  often  the  case,  of  the  talent  that  re- 
mained. Accordingly  several  young  brethren  gave  evidence 
of  ability  to  preach  the  Word ;  hence,  at  the  Association 
in  1757,^  "In  answer  to  a  request  from  Kingwood,  New 
Jersey,  for  ministerial  supply,  we  advise  them  to  apply  to 
Montgomery,  principally,  and  to  others,  as  occasion  re- 
quires." It  was  decided  further,  at  the  same  session,  "  In 
consideration  of  the  very  great  necessity  for  ministerial 
labor  in  many  of  the  churches  belonging  to  this  Association, 
we  request  the  church  of  Montgomery  to  send  some  of 
her  young  ministers  to  supply  them  as  often  as  possible." 

It  1759,  it  was  decided  that  the  opening  sermon  before 
the  Association  should  be  "  upon  one  of  the  fundamental 


articles  of  the  Christian  faith,"  the  subject  to  be  assigned 
the  year  before.  Hence,  for  a  number  of  years,  a  Doctrinal 
sermon  was  delivered  on  some  one  or  other  of  the  articles 
of  faith  as  adopted  by  the  Association. 

The  Records  of  the  First  Baptist  Church  during  the 
first  fourteen  years  of  its  separate  history  are  very  meagre. 
For  the  first  eleven  years  there  are  none  at  all.  There  was 
no  attempt  to  keep  a  minute  of  the  proceedings  until  August 
1 1,  1760.  A  few  fragments  of  minutes  are  found  in  the  first 
Book  of  Records  commencing  with  February  4,  1757. 
From  these  we  learn  that  Rev.  Jenkin  Jones,  probably  from 
enfeebled  health,  did  not  continue  to  preach  up  to  the  time 
of  his  death.  The  pulpit  was  supplied  by  Revs.  Isaac  Eaton, 
Isaac  Stella,  Thomas  Davis,  B.  Griffiths,  R  P.  Vanhorn, 
Samuel  Stillman,  D.  D.,  B.  Miller,  John  Marks,  Owen 
Thomas,  Joseph  Thomas,  Samuel  Heaton.  There  are  also 
records  of  some  bickerings,  but,  by  prudence  and  counsel, 
said  troubles,  were  healed.  Anxious  to  obtain  a  pastor,  and 
there  being  no  one  in  the  country  suitable,  whom  they 
could  secure,  March  13,  1760,  the  church  authorized  John 
Griffith,  "to  write  to  the  Board  of  Ministers  in  London,  to 
request  that  they  send  us  a  minister."  Another  letter  also 
"was  sent  by  the  well-wishers"  of  the  church.  July  16, 
1760,  Jenkin  Jones  died,  and  his  funeral  sermon  was  preached 
on  the  20th  by  Rev.  Isaac  Eaton.  He  was  a  man  who  had 
rendered  good  service  to  the  cause  of  Christ,  the  Baptist 
denomination  and  to  the  church  in  Philadelphia.  He  was 
the  means  of  securing  to  the  Baptists  the  property  on  Second 
Street,  when  the  Episcopalians  attempted  to  get  it.  He 
built  a  parsonage  for  the  church  partly  at  his  own  expense. 
He  gave  a  legacy,  July  3,  1762,  towards  purchasing  a  large 
silver  cup  or  chalice  for  the  Lord's  Table,  which  cost  about 
^60  Pennsylvania  currency.  The  church  on  receipt  of  this 
legacy,  July  3,  1762,  "Agreed  that  M.  Edwards  and  Isaac 

REV.    JENKIN    JONES.  79 

Jones,  Esq.,  do  buy  a  two  handle  silver  cup  or  chalice, 
for  the  wine  in  the  Lord's  Supper,  with  the  said  legacy, 
and  in  case  the  chalice  should  cost  more  than  £2^^  that 
the  old  silver  cup  (now  belonging  to  the  Meeting)  should 
be  sold  to  help  pay  for  the  new  chalice.  And  that  the 
Rev.  Jenkin  Jones'  name  be  engraved  on  the  front  of  the 
new  chalice.  This  is  still  used  by  the  church  at  every 
communion  season.     On  the  face  of  it  is  the  inscription  : 

The  Legacy  of 

The  Rev-i 

Jenkin  Jones, 

who  died,  July  i6th, 


In  addition  to  this  cup,  the  church  has  in  use  two  plates. 
On  the  rim  of  each  is  the  inscription  : 

Baptist  Church,  Philada. 


On  two  of  the  goblets  used  in  the  communion  service  is 

inscribed  : 

The  Particular 

Baptist  Church 




Mr.  Jones  was  the  moving  cause  of  securing  such  alter- 
ations in  the  licence  laws  as  to  enable  dissenting  ministers 
to  perform  the  marriage  ceremony.  At  his  death  he  was 
buried  in  the  graveyard  adjoining  the  church,  where  a  tomb 
was  erected  to  his  memory.  Upon  the  removal  of  the  dead 
from  that  place  in  i860,  his  remains  were  reinterred  in  a 
beautiful  spot  in  Mount  Moriah  Cemetery. 

A  letter  from  London  was  promptly  received  in  answer 
to  the  one  sent,  recommending  Rev.  Morgan  Edwards,  and 
on  September  15th,  the  church  directed  a  letter  to  be  drawn 
up  inviting  "Mr.  Edwards  to  come  over,  or  any  other  gentle- 
man of  like  character,  to  take  the  ministerial  charge  of  the 


church."  The  School  at  Hopewell  was  succeeding  well  and 
the  students  were  beginning  to  go  abroad  to  preach.  Under 
date  of  April  I2,  1760,  the  minutes  of  the  church  in  Phila- 
delphia state:  "The  20th  of  this  month,  Mr.  Talbot  preached 
with  great  warmth.  He  was  the  first  fruit  of  the  Hopewell 
School."  Rev.  John  Gano  was  requested  to  supply  the 
church  until  the  spring,  when  Mr.  Edwards  was  expected. 

In  Mr.  Gano's  autobiography  he  records  the  following 
relative  to  this  request ;  "During  my  residence  in  North 
Carolina,  Mr.  Jenkin  Jones,  pastor  of  the  Baptist  Church 
in  Philadelphia,  died  ;  and  the  church  being  destitute  of  a 
pastor,  had  sent  a  call  to  England  for  one.  It  was  represen- 
ted that  they  had  been  so  particular  in  the  requisite  qualifi- 
cations for  a  minister,  that  it  has  given  offence  to  the 
preachers  ;  so  that  they  were  entirely  destitute.  They  made 
application  to  me  to  visit  them  ;  and  also  to  Mr.  Miller,  of 
Scotch  Plains,  who  had  been  a  successful  minister  in  New 
York,  and  had  baptized  sundry  persons  there.  I  visited  New 
York  and  Philadelphia,  alternately.  I  at  length  came  to  the 
conclusion  that  I  would  supply  both  places,  two  Sabbaths  at 
each  place.  The  church  at  Philadelphia  invited  me  to 
bring  my  family,  and  tarry  with  them,  till  they  received  an 
answer  from  England.  I  answered  them  that  I  would  not 
come  on  such  terms  ;  but  if  they  would  affix  a  certain  time 
for  my  stay,  I  would  accept  of  their  invitation.  To 
this  proposal  they  acceded,  and  I  went  to  Philadelphia. 
While  there,  Mrs.  Gano  had  a  daughter,  born  December 
23d,  1760,  w^hom  w^e  called  Peggy.  During  my  stay  there, 
which  was  through  the  winter,  the  church  appeared  in  a 
flourishing  state,  and  several  additions  were  made  to  it." 

"About  the  time  I  left  Philadelphia,"  continues  John 
Gano,  "Providence  blessed  that  church,  by  sending  a  young 
and  respectable  preacher,  Samuel  Hillman,  from  South 
Carolina,  among  them.     He  possessed  popular  talents  as  a 


Speaker.  He  continued  with  them  till  the  arrival  of  Morgan 
Edwards,  the  minister  from  England.  Mr.  Stillman  went 
to  Boston,  where  he  now  continues,  pastor  of  the  First  Bap- 
tist Church  in  that  place.  I  remained  in  the  city  of  New 
York,  until  the  British  War." 

In  connection  with  the  passing  events  of  the  denomina- 
tion, it  would  be  of  interest  to  weave  in  the  various  occur- 
rences of  importance  connected  with  the  mental,  and  material 
life  of  the  city.  Except  where  these  are  so  manifestly  inter- 
woven with  the  history  of  the  Baptists,  however,  the  record 
of  them  would  unnecesarily  enlarge  the  limits  of  this  work. 


CHAPTER  IX.— 1761-1763. 


THIS  decade  ushered  in  a  marked  advance  in  all  that 
pertains  to  real  progress.  New  men  appeared  on  the 
stage,  and  new  measures  were  inaugurated.  May  23,  176 1, 
Rev.  Morgan  Edwards  arrived  in  this  city.  He  was  born 
in  Wales,  May  9th,  1722,  and  commenced  preaching  when 
sixteen  years  of  age.  After  completing  his  labors  he  served 
a  church  in  Boston,  England,  for  seven  years,  then  one  in 
Cork,  Ireland,  for  nine  years.  From  Cork,  he  returned  to 
England,  and  preached  for  a  year  at  Rye,  in  Sussex. 
During  his  residence  there.  Rev.  Dr.  Gill,  of  London, 
received  a  letter  from  the  church  in  Philadelphia,  requesting 
him  to  assist  them  in  obtaining  a  pastor.  He  applied  to 
Mr.  Edwards  as  the  person  most  likely  to  suit  and  satisfy 
the  people.  The  application  was  favorably  received  and  he 
took  passage  for  America.  Upon  his  arrival  he  at  once 
entered  upon  the  pastorate  of  the  church,  and  was  received 
into  their  fellowship  June  ist,  by  letter  from  Penyam, 
in  Monmouthshire,  South  Wales.  The  church  paid  the 
expenses    of  his  voyage  and  gave  to  him  a  very  cordial 


reception.  There  are  men  who  are  very  ready  to  preach 
simply  because  of  a  high  estimation  of  themselves.  The 
First  Church  had  one  of  these  men  in  its  early  history. 
The  minutes  for  September  4th,  1762,  state  "  Dr.  G.  Weed 
proposed  to  preach  to  us  occasionally.  The  thing  was  con- 
sidered and  this  answer  returned,  '  The  church  return  our 
Bro.  Weed  thanks  for  his  desire  to  serve  the  church ;  but 
would  defer  the  proposal  till  they  see  necessary  to  invite 
Mr.  Weed  thereto.*  The  Doctor  was  not  pleased,  and  said 
it  was  like  a  trick  which  Dr.  Faustus  played  with  the  devil." 
This  did  not  quiet  him.  Having  charge  of  the  Hospital, 
he  seemed  there  to  assume  ministerial  functions,  preaching 
there  as  a  minister,  without  the  authority  of  the  church,  and 
inviting  persons  from  without  to  come  and  hear  him.  The 
church  wrote  him  a  kindly  but  decided  letter  remonstrating 
with  him,  declaring  that  they  "  knew  Bro.  Weed  very  well, 
yet  are  not  willing  to  know  Minister  Weed."  This  course 
displeased  the  Doctor,  and  the  church,  July  I,  1765,  was 
compelled  to  erase  his  name  from  the  records  for  non- 
attendance  on  and  non-support  of  the  church. 

At  the  church  meeting  following  the  above,  October  2d, 
1762,  there  was  an  excommunication,  the  record  of  which 
is  not  without  interest  at  this  date ; — 

Whereas,  John  Taylor  has  now,  a  third  time,  contradicted  his 
baptismal  vows  of  repentance  and  holiness  by  relapsing  to  the  sin  of 
drunkenness;  and  has,  moreover,  absconded  from  his  master,  whereby 
he  has  defrauded  his  master  out  of  a  year's  servitude  ;  we  hold  our- 
selves bound  to  cut  him  off  from  the  church,  erase  his  name  out  of 
the  church's  book,  and  deliver  him  up  to  Satan  for  the  destruction  of 
the  flesh,  that  the  spirit  may  be  saved  in  the  day  of  the  Lord  Jesus; 
and  accordingly  he  is  hereby  excommunicated.  And  God  have  mercy 
on  his  soul.     Amen. 

That  a  thorough  supervision   of  the  members   of  the 

church  might  be  maintained,  it  was  agreed,  November  6th, 

1762,  "that  Mr.  Edwards  do  give  each  regular  member  of 

this  church  twelve  written  tickets  every  year,  and  that  each 


communicant  put  one  in  the  box  at  every  communion,  that 
it  may  be  known  who  are  absent,  that  an  enquiry  may  be 
made  after  them." 

Morgan  Edwards  at  once  took  a  prominent  position, 
because  of  his  talents,  energy  and  piety.  Accordingly,  at 
the  meeting  of  the  Association,  succeeding  his  arrival,  he 
was  placed  in  a  position  of  prominence,  trust  and  work. 
He  was  "  appointed  to  take  charge  of  the  book  of  records, 
and  insert  therein  the  minutes,"  of  that  body,  in  connec- 
tion with  Rev.  P.  P.  Vanhorn.  This  is  the  work  that  had 
been  begun  by  Benjamin  Griffiith.  He  was  also  appointed 
one  of  the  librarians  of  the  Association,  and  of  the  corres- 
pondents with  the  Baptists  in  "  London  and  elsewhere." 

The  letter  to  England  is  of  value  as  a  historical  docu- 
ment, and  is  as  follows  : — 

The  Association  of  Particular  Baptist  Churches,  annually  held  at 
Philadelphia,  to  the  Board  of  Particular  Baptist  Ministers  in  London  : 

Reverend  Brethren,  We  greet  you  well ;  and,  as  a  part  of  that 
community,  in  the  British  Dominions,  (whereof  you  have  in  some  sort 
the  superintendence,)  we  offer  you  our  acquaintance,  and  solicit  a 
share  of  your  public  care  and  friendship.  Our  numbers  in  these  parts 
multiply,  for  when  we  had  the  pleasure  of  writing  to  you,  in  1734, 
there  were  but  nine  churches  in  our  Association,  yet  now  there  are 
twenty-eight,  all  owning  the  Confession  of  Faith  put  forth  in  London, 
in  1689.  Some  of  the  churches  are  now  destitute;  but  we  have  a 
prospect  of  supplies,  partly  by  means  of  a  Baptist  academy  lately  set 
up.  This  infant  seminary  of  learning  is  yet  weak,  having  no  moie 
than  twenty-four  pounds  a  year  towards  its  support.  Should  it  be  in 
your  power  to  favor  this  school  any  way,  we  presume  you  will  be 
pleased  to  know  how.  A  few  books  proper  for  such  a  school,  or  a 
small  apparatus,  or  some  pieces  of  apparatus,  are  more  immediately 
wanted,  and  not  to  be  had  easily  in  these  parts.  We  have  also  of  late 
endeavoured  to  form  a  library  at  Philadelphia,  for  the  use  of  our 
brethren  in  the  ministry  who  are  not  able  to  purchase  books.  This 
design  also  wants  the  assistance  of  our  brethren  in  England.  However, 
our  design  in  writing  to  you  in  this  public  manner  is  to  renew  a  cor- 
respondence which  hath  been  dropped  for  some  years  past :  and  it 
you  think  well  of  it,  we  shall  be  glad  to  hear  from  you  against  our 
next  Association,  in  October.     You  may  direct  to  our  brother,  Mor- 


gan  Edwards,  at  Philadelphia.  We  commend  you  to  the  grace  of 
God,  and  desire  your  prayers  for  us,  and  remain  your  brethren  in  the 
faith.     Signed,  by  order  of  the  Association, 

Peter  Peterson  Vanhorn, 
Philadelphia,  May  i6,  1762.  MORGAN  Edwards. 

The  effect  of  the  presence  of  Morgan  Edwards  is  seen 
in  the  improved  value  of  the  minutes  of  the  Association  for 
that  year.  For  the  first  time  is  given,  in  1761,  a  table  of 
statistics  of  the  churches,  collected  and  arranged  by  him. 
The  Pennypack,  Philadelphia  and  Montgomery  churches, 
all  the  Baptist  churches  in  the  entire  country  then,  reported 
that  year  an  aggregate  membership  of  202 ;  total  number 
of  baptisms,  30;  and  entire  number  of  "hearers,"  1150. 

In  "a  sketch  of  the  history  and  the  present  organization 
of  Brown  University,  published  by  the  Executive  Board," 
in  1 86 1,  is  this  statement: — 

This  Institution,  which  was  founded  in  1794,  owes  its  origin  to 
the  desire  of  the  Baptists  in  the  American  Colonies  to  secure  for 
members  of  their  denomination  a  liberal  education,  without  subjection 
to  any  sectarian  tests.  At  the  suggestion  of  Rev.  Morgan  Edwards, 
the  pastor  of  the  First  Baptist  Church,  in  Philadelphia,  the  Philadel- 
phia Baptist  Association,  in  the  year  1762,  resolved  to  establish  a 
college  in  the  colony  of  Rhode  Island  and  Providence  plantations. 
The  Rev.  James  Manning,  a  graduate  of  the  College  of  New  Jersey, 
was  commissioned  by  them  to  travel  through  the  northern  colonies, 
for  the  purpose  of  fostering  this  project. 

In  1764,  a  charter  was  obtained  for  the  College  from  the 
legislature  of  the  colony.  Rev.  Morgan  Edwards  was 
elected  a  member  of  its  first  Board  of  Fellows,  a  position 
which  he  held  until  1789. 

With  the  inauguration  of  this  enterprise,  the  Philadel- 
phia Association  thus  earnestly  expressed  itself  in  1764: — 

Agreed,  to  inform  the  churches  to  which  we  respectively  belong, 
that,  inasmuch  as  a  charter  is  obtained  in  Rhode  Island  government 
toward  erecting  a  Baptist  college,  the  churches  should  be  liberal  in 
contributing  towards  carrying  the  same  into  execution. 


In  1766,  this  body  again 

Agreed,  to  recommend  warmly  to  our  churches  the  interest  of  the 
college,  for  which  a  subscription  is  opened  all  over  the  continent. 
This  college  hath  been  set  on  foot  upward  of  a  year,  and  has  now  in 
it  three  promising  youths  under  the  tuition  of  President  Manning, 

The  year  in  which  Brown  University  was  first  projected 
in  Philadelphia  was  signalized  by  tearing  down  the  Baptist 
Meeting-house,  erected  in  1731,  in  Lagrange  Place,  and  the 
construction  of  a  more  spacious  edifice.  61  by  42  feet. 
Like  its  predecessor,  it  was  built  of  brick,  and  cost  ^2,200. 
This  rebuilding  will,  doubtless,  account  for  the  fact  that  the 
Association,  in  1762,  "met  at  the  Lutheran  church  in  Fifth 
street,  between  Arch  and  Race  streets,  where  the  sound  of 
the  organ  was  heard  in  the  Baptist  worship."  This  was  St. 
Michael's  Church,  at  the  corner  of  Fifth  and  Cherry  streets. 

February  7th,  of  this  year.  Rev.  P.  P.  Vanhorn,  after  an 
acceptable  pastorate  of  nearly  fifteen  years,  resigned  the 
care  of  the  Pennypack  church,  and  removed  to  New  Mills, 
now  Pemberton,  New  Jersey,  where,  June  23,  1764,  he 
was  instrumental  in  founding  the  Baptist  church.  April  2, 
1768,  he  returned  to  and  resided  at  Pennypack.  December 
9th,  1769,  he  was  again  received  into  the  church  and 
remained  a  member  of  it  until  September  1 8th,  1770,  when 
he  removed  to  Cape  May,  New  Jersey,  and  became  pastor 
there.  At  the  Association  in  1762,  "Certificates  of  the 
ordination  and  good  morals  of  Rev.  David  Thomas  and 
Rev.  David  Sutton  were  drawn  up  by  Rev.  Samuel  Jones 
and  Isaac  Jones,  Esq.,  and  the  city  seal  affixed  thereto  by 
the  Recorder,  Benjamin  Chew,  Esq.,  for  which  he  took  no 
fee."  This  seal  attached  to  the  aforenamed  certificate  is  a 
curiosity  in  this  day,  when  such  a  custom  has  fallen  into 
disuse  almost  entirely.  It  also  contains  a  high  testimony 
to  the  Baptist  pastor  in  this  city.     It  is  as  follows  : — 

I,  Benjamin  Chew,  Esq.,  Recorder  of  the  city  of  Philadelphia,  do 
hereby  certify  that  the  Rev.    Morgan  Edwards,   A.   M.,    who   hath 




signed  the  above  certificate,  is  pastor  of  the  Baptist  church  in  this 
city  of  Philadelphia,  and  Moderator  of  the  above  Association,  and 
that  he  s  a  gentleman  of  most  exemplary  morals  and  piety. 

In  testimony  of  which,  I  have  hereunto  caused  the  seal  of  this 
said  city  to  be  affixed,  this  17th  day  of  October,  A.  D.  1762. 

Benjamin  Chew,  Recorder. 

After  the  departure  of  P.  P.  Vanhorn  to  Pemberton,  the 
minutes  of  the  Pennypack  church,  under  date  of  March 
nth,  1762,  contain  the  following: — 

Concluded  to  call  Bro.  George  Eaton  to  supply  us  ye  remainder  of 
ye  time,  excepting  ye  3rd  Sabbath  in  every  month,  at  which  time  he  is 
under  promise  to  preach  at  a  place  called  the  Ridge,  near  German- 

The  place  referred  to  as  "the  Ridge,"  is  Roxborough. 

Mr.  Eaton  did  not  live  to  labor  long  after  this,  as  the 
inscription  on  the  plain,  blue  marble  headstone,  which 
marks  his  last  resting  place,  in  the  graveyard  at  Pennypack, 
will  inform  us.     It  is  as  follows  : — 

In  memory  of 

the  Rev.  George  Eaton, 

who  departed  this  life  July 

1st,   1764,  aged  'j'j  years 

II  months. 

Who  did  delight  his  talents  to  improve. 

And  speak  ye  glorys  of  Redeeming  love. 

Ml.  Eaton  was  born  in  Wales,  and  was  brought  to  this 
country  in  1686  by  his  parents  when  butalitttle  babe.  He 
was  the  brother  of  Rev.  Joseph  Eaton,  whose  son,  Isaac, 
founded  the  Latin  School,  at  Hopewell,  New  Jersey. 

Samuel  Jones,  who  arrived  in  this  city  in  1737,  was  con- 
verted very  early  in  life  and  became  a  member  of  the  Tul- 
pehocken  Baptist  Church  in  Berks  County,  Pa.,  of  which 
his  father  Rev.  Thomas  Jones  was  pastor.  Samuel  entered 
upon  a  course  of  study  in  the  College  of  Philadelphia,  and 
December  5,  1760,  was  received  into  the  Baptist  Church  of 
this  city  by  letter  from  the  one  at  Tulpehocken.     He  pro- 

COPY    OF   THE    LICENSE.  89 

secuted  his  studies  until  May  i8,  1762,  when  he  was  grad- 
uated and  received  the  degree  of  Bachelor  of  Arts.  He 
was  shortly  thereafter  licensed  by  the  church  to  preach  the 
Gospel.     The  following  is  a  copy  of  the  license: — 

To  all  whom  it  may  concern.  This  certifies  that  Samuel  Jones, 
A.  B.,  has  been  regularly  called  to  exercise  his  ministerial  gifts  by  the 
Baptist  Church  of  Philadelphia,  whereof  he  is  a  member,  and,  after 
trial  in  private  and  public,  the  Church  judge  he  will  be  useful  in  the 
Ministry.  Wherefore  he  is  hereby  licensed  and  authorized  to  preach 
the  Gospel  wherever  he  may  have  a  call  so  to  do  among  the  Baptists, 
until  such  time  as  circumstances  will  admit  of  his  ordination.  Done 
at  a  Church  Meeting  held  in  the  College  of  Philadelphia  July  10, 
1762.     Signed  in  behalf  of  the  whole,  by  us. 

Morgan  Edwards,  Minister. 
Joshua  Moor,  George  Westcott,  ?    ^ 
Samuel  Davis,  Septimus  Levering,  \  ^^^^^^^>^- 

December  4,  1762,  the  Church ''agreed  unanimously  that 
Samuel  Jones  be  ordained  on  January  2,  1763,  and  that 
Messrs.  Morgan  Edwards,  Isaac  Eaton  and  Samuel  Still- 
man  be  concerned  therein,  and  that  messengers  be  sent  to 
invite  the  two  last  to  give  their  attendance.  Morgan  Ed- 
wards to  preach  the  sermon  and  to  conduct  the  ordination, 
Isaac  Eaton  to  give  the  Charge;  and  all  to  be  concerned  in 
imposition  of  hands  and  prayer."  The  address  of  the 
church  to  these  ministering  brethren  relative  to  this  ordi- 
nation is  of  interest : — 

To  Messrs.  Morgan  Edwards,  Isaac  Eaton  and  Samuel  Stillman  :  — 

Rev.  Sirs:  We,  the  Baptist  Church  of  Philadelphia,  greet  you  well, 
and  beg  leave  to  recommend  to  you  for  ordination  cur  beloved  brother 
Samuel  Jones,  A.  B.,  whom  we,  by  our  representative,  Mr.  Wescott, 
set  before  you  for  that  purpose.  He  is  a  man  of  sound  learning,  good 
morals,  and  exemplary  piety,  your  compliance  with  our  request  will 
be  domg  a  pleasure  to  your  brethren  in  the  faith  and  fellowship  of 
the  Gospel.  Signed  by  order,  and  in  behalf  of  the  church  at  our 
meeting  of  business  in  the  College  of  Philadelphia,  January  i,  1763. 

Barnaby  Barnes,  Clerk. 

From  the  above  documents,  aside  from  their  interest, 

we  learn  that  during  the  rebuilding  of  the  Meeting  House 

on  Second  Street,  the  church  worshipped  in  the  hall  of  the 


College  of  Philadelphia.  This  edifice  was  on  the  west  side 
of  Fourth  Street,  below  Arch.  It  was  originally  erected  in 
1 74 1,  for  the  Rev.  George  Whitefield,  and  was  known  as 
Whitefield's  Church.  In  1749  an  Academy  and  Charitable 
School  was  organized  in  the  city,  and  occupied  this  build- 
ing. In  1750  it  was  opened  as  a  Latin  School;  in  1755  it 
was  chartered  under  the  title  of  "  The  College,  Academy, 
and  Charitable  School  of  Philadelphia,"  and  in  1779  was 
opened  as  the  University  of  Pennsylvania.  The  Union 
Methodist  Episcopal  Church  now  occupies  the  identical 
spot  of  Whitefield's  Church,  or  College  Hall.  Samuel 
Jones  forthwith  became  pastor  of  the  Pennypack  and 
Southampton  Churches,  a  position  he  filled  until  1770, 
when  he  resigned  the  latter  and  gave  himself  exclusively  to 
the  pastorship  of  the  former.  At  the  time  of  his  ordination 
it  would  seem  that  the  Church  in  Philadelphia  regarded  it 
as  the  prerogative  of  the  Ministry  to  determine  upon  the 
qualification  of  a  candidate  for  Baptism.  Accordingly  the 
subject  was  brought  up  and  decided  at  the  Meeting  of  the 
Association  as  follows  : — 

A  question  was  moved  by  the  church  of  the  Great  Valley  to  this 
effect :  Whether  it  be  the  prerogative  of  a  church  to  receive  appli- 
cations for  Baptism,  examine  the  candidates,  and  to  judge  of  their 
qualifications  for  Baptism,  or  whether  these  be  the  distinct  and  pecu- 
liar prerogatives  of  the  Minister,  exclusive  of  the  laity  ? 

The  occasion  of  this  question  was  the  opinion  and  practice  of  the 
Church  of  Philadelphia,  who  by  a  general  vote  have  allowed  the  said 
prerogatives  to  belong  to  the  Minister,  by  the  tenor  of  the  commission 
relative  to  Baptism,  and  the  universal  practice  of  the  commissioners  ; 
and  that  there  is  neither  precept  nor  precedent  for  the  contrary  in 
Scripture.  All  allowed  that  this  may  be,  and  in  some  cases  must  be ; 
but  that  the  other  practice  was  more  expedient.  However,  none  pre- 
tended to  say  it  was  warranted  by  Scripture.  The  question  was  put, 
—Whether  the  point  was  a  term  of  Communion,  and  whether  it 
should  be  debated  or  dropped?  None  stood  up  for  either.  So  that  it 
was  dropped. 

In  1762  the  degree  of  Master  of  Arts  was  conferred  on 
Morgan   Edwards  by  the  College  of  Philadelphia,  and  in 


1769  the  same  honor  was  bestowed  by  Brown  University. 
Whether  the  reception  of  this  degree  prompted  the  action 
as  recorded  in  the  Church  Minutes  for  April  30,  1763,  we 
do  not  profess  to  say  : — 

Mr.  Edwards  desires  to  know  the  sense  of  the  church  relative  to 
his  wearing  a  master's  gown  in  the  common  services  of  the  Church ; 
for  as  to  wearing  it  abroad  and  on  special  occasions,  he  said,  he  in- 
tended to  use  his  right  and  own  discretion.  The  Church  desired  him 
to  use  his  liberty  and  that  wearing  or  not  wearing  it  would  give  no 
offence  to  the  Church. 

June  4,  1763,  the  church  called  Stephen  Watts,  a  licen- 
tiate and  a  graduate  of  the  College  of  Philadelphia,  to  be 
an  Assistant  to  Rev.  Morgan  Edwards  in  the  Ministry.  He 
accepted  the  call  and  entered  upon  the  work  July  2nd.  The 
ordination  of  deacons  was  strictly  adhered  to  by  the 
Churches  at  this  time.  An  account  of  such  ordination  in 
Philadelphia  is  given  in  the  Records  for  December  10, 

The  Church  met  this  day,  by  way  of  preparation  for  celebrating 
the  Lord's  Supper  on  the  morrow;  and  to  ordain  deacons.  The 
Meeting  began  with  prayer  from  the  desk  suitable  to  both  designs  of 
the  Meeting.  Then  was  delivered  a  dissertation  on  the  office  of  a 
deacon,  his  qualifications  and  duty  and  the  manner  of  his  election 
and  instalment  in  the  office.  Then  the  deacons  elect,  viz.  Joseph 
Moulder,  Joseph  Watkins  and  Samuel  Miles  were  brought  to  the  ad- 
ministrator ;  who  laid  his  hands  on  each,  and  prayed  in  the  following 
words :  In  the  name  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  and  according  to  the  practice 
of  His  Apostles  towards  persons  chosen  to  the  deaconship,  I  lay 
hands  on  you,  my  brother,  whereby  you  are  constituted,  or  ordained 
a  deacon  of  this  church ;  installed  in  the  office  and  appointed  and 
empowered  to  collect  and  receive  her  revenues,  and  to  dispose  thereof 
in  providing  for  and  serving  the  Lord's  table ;  and  in  providing  for 
the  table  of  the  Minister  and  the  poor ;  and  in  transacting  other  tem- 
poral affairs  of  the  church,  that  the  Minister  may  not  be  deterred  from 
the  word  and  prayer,  nor  the  concerns  of  the  family  of  faith  neglected. 
In  the  use  of  which  rite  of  imposition  of  hands,  I  pray  that  God  will 
confirm  in  heaven  what  we  do  on  earth,  and  receive  you  into  the 
number  of  them  who  minister  to  him  in  the  civil  affairs  of  His  sanc- 
tuary.    That  he  will  fill  you  more  and  more  with  the  Holy  Ghost, 


wisdom  and  honesty ;  that,  by  using  the  office  of  a  deacon  well,  you 
may  purchase  to  yourself  a  good  degree,  and  great  boldness  in  the 
faith,  even  so  Lord  Jesus.  Amen.  When  each  had  been  ordained, 
they  stood  up  from  kneeling  and  were  addressed  by  the  Minister  in 
the  following  manner  :  We  give  you  the  right  hand  of  fellowship  in 
token  that  we  acknowledge  you  for  our  deacon,  and  to  express  our 
congratulations  and  good  wishes. 


CHAPTER  X.— 1764-1770. 


UNDER  date  of  March  13,  1764,  a  new  phase  of  church 
polity  was  introduced.  For  some  years  the  sisters  had 
not  taken  part  in  the  business  of  the  church.  While  the  names 
of  the  brethren  are  given  who  were  present  at  each  business 
meeting,  no  ladies  are  mentioned  as  attending.  On  the 
above  date,  the  following  question  was,  "on  behalf  of  some  of 
the  sisters"  propounded:  "Whether  women  have  a  right  to 
vote  in  church  affairs?"  On  March  31st,  an  answer  was 
returned,  "  with  due  honor  to  the  sisters,"  as  follows: — 

That  the  rights  of  Christians  are  not  subject  to  our  determinations, 
nor  to  the  determinations  of  any  church  or  state  upon  earth.  We 
could  easily  answer  that,  in  civil  affairs,  they  have  no  such  right ;  but 
whether  they  have  or  have  not  in  the  church,  can  only  be  determined 
by  the  Gospel,  to  which  we  refer  them.  But,  if,  upon  inquiry,  no 
such  grant  of  right  can  be  found  in  the  Gospel,  and  if  voting  shall 
appear  to  be  a  mere  custom,  we  see  no  necessity  for  breaking  it  except 
the  custom  should,  at  any  time,  be  stretched  to  subvert  the  subordi- 
nation which  the  Gospel  hath  established  in  all  the  churches  of  the 
saints,  "  I  suffer  not  a  woman  to  usurp  authority,  but  command  that 
she  be  in  subjection,  as  also  saith  the  law."  i  Tim.  2.  i.,  i  Cor.  14. 
Nor  do  we  know  that  this  church,  or  any  of  us,  have  done  anything 
to  deprive  the  sisters  of  such  a  practice,  be  it  a  right,  or  be  it  a  cus- 
tom only,  except  a  neglect  on  a  late  occasion  be  deemed  such,  which 
we  justify  not.  On  the  contrary,  if  the  sisters  do  attend  our  meetings 
of  business,  we  propose  that  their  suffrage  or  disapprobation  shall  have 
their  proper  influence  ;  and,  in  case  they  do  not  attend  statedly,  we 
purpose  to  invite  them  when  anything  is  to  be  transacted  which  touches 
the  interest  of  their  souls. 


May  5th,  a  communication  was  received  from  the  women 
in  reply,  and  it  was  decided  that  the  sisters  should  have  the 
right  of  suffrage  as  in  former  years. 

Like  the  church  at  Pennypack,  the  one  in  Philadelphia 
had  Ruling  Elders.  Three  were  elected  for  the  first  time 
May  loth,  1866.  Their  names  were  Isaac  Jones,  George 
Westcott  and  Samuel  Davis.  June  14th,  "they  were  or- 
dained by  laying  on  of  hands  and  prayer." 

In  1766,  was  commenced  that  fraternal  correspondence 
on  the  part  of  the  Philadelphia  Association  which,  for  so 
many  years,  was  carried  on,  and  from  which  in  the  early 
days  so  much  of  pleasure  and  encouragement  resulted.  It 
was  then 

Moved  and  agreed  to:  That  a  yearly  intercourse  between  the 
Associations  to  the  east  and  west  of  us  be,  by  letters  and  messengers, 
now  begun,  and  hereafter  maintained.  Accordingly,  Rev.  Samuel 
Jones  was  ordered  to  write  to  the  Association  to  be  held  at  Warren, 
the  Tuesday  before  the  second  Sunday  in  September,  and  Revs.  John 
Gano,  Samuel  Jones  and  Morgan  Edwards  appointed  to  meet  them  as 
delegates  from  us. 

This  was  the  first  meeting  of  the  Warren  Association, 
at  the  organization  of  which  the  number  of  Baptist  Asso- 
ciations in  the  country  had  increased  to  seven,  viz  :  the 
Philadelphia,  organized  in  1 707;  the  Charleston,  in  South 
Carolina,  175 1  ;  the  Sandy  Creek,  in  North  Carolina,  1758; 
the  Leyden,  in  Massachusetts,  1763;  the  Kuhukee,  in  North 
Carolina,  1765  ;  the  Ketockton,  in  Virginia,  1766;  and  the 
Warren,  in  Rhode  Island,  1767. 

Up  to  1766  the  Baptist  Churches  of  New  England  had 
not  been  gathered  into  an  Association.  Rev.  James  Man- 
ing  was  exceedingly  anxious  that  this  should  be  done.  A 
meeting  for  this  purpose  was  held  at  Warren,  Rhode  Is- 
land, September  8,  1 767.  From  the  Philadelphia  Association 
were  Rev.  John  Gano  (who  preached  the  introductory  ser- 
mon from  Acts  xv :  9,  and  was  chosen   Moderator  of  the 


new  body),  Rev.  Abel  Griffith,  and  Noah  Hammond.     The 
following  letter  was  sent  by  them  : — 

The  Elders  and  Messengers  of  the  several  Baptist  Churches  met 
in  Association  at  Philadelphia,  the  14th,  15th,  and  i6th  day  of  Octo- 
ber, 1766.  To  the  Elders  and  Messengers  of  the  several  Baptist 
Churches  of  the  same  faith  and  order,  to  meet  in  Association  at 
Warren,  in  the  Colony  of  Rhode  Island,  the  8th  day  of  September, 
1767,  send  greeting.  Dearly  Beloved  Brethren: — When  we  under- 
stood that  you  concluded  to  meet  at  the  time  and  place  above  men- 
tioned, with  a  view  to  lay  the  foundation  stone  of  an  associational 
building,  it  gave  us  peculiar  joy,  in  that  it  opened  to  our  view  a  pros- 
pect of  much  good  being  done.  You  will  perhaps  judge  this  our  ad- 
dress to  you  premature,  because  as  yet  you  have  only  an  ideal  being, 
as  a  body  by  appointment.  But  if  you  should  call  thi^  our  forward- 
ness blind  zeal,  we  are  still  in  hopes  you  will  not  forget  that  our  em- 
bracing the  first  opportunity  of  commencing  Christian  fellowship  and 
acquaintance  with  you  affords  the  strongest  evidence  of  our  appro- 
bation of  your  present  meeting,  and  how  fond  we  should  be  of  mutual 
correspondence  between  us  in  this  way, 

A  long  course  of  experience  and  observation  has  taught  us  to  have 
the  highest  sense  of  the  advantages  which  accrue  from  associations  ; 
nor  indeed  does  the  nature  or  thing  speak  any  other  language.  For, 
as  particular  members  are  collected  together  and  united  in  one  body, 
which  we  call  a  particular  church,  to  answer  those  ends  and  purposes 
which  could  not  be  accomplished  by  any  single  member,  so  a  collec- 
tion and  union  of  churches  into  one  associational  body  may  easily  be 
conceived  capable  of  answering  those  still  greater  purposes  which  any 
particular  church  could  not  be  equal  to.  And  by  the  same  reason,  a 
union  of  associations  will  still  increase  the  body  in  weight  and  strength, 
and  make  it  good  that  a  th tee-fold  cord  is  not  easily  broken. 

Great,  dear  brethren,  is  the  design  of  your  meeting,  great  is  the 
work  which  lies  before  you.  You  will  need  the  guidance  and  influ- 
ence of  the  Divine  Spirit,  as  well  as  the  exertion  of  all  prudence  and 
wisdom.  It  is  therefore  our  most  ardent  prayer  that  you  may  meet 
in  love,  that  peace  and  unanimity  may  subsist  among  you  during  your 
consultations,  that  you  may  be  animated  with  zeal  for  the  glory  of 
God,  and  directed  to  advise  and  determine  what  may  most  conduce  to 
promote  the  Redeemer's  Kingdom. 

From  considering  the  divided  state  of  our  Baptist  Churches  in 
your  quarters,  we  foresee  that  dif^culties  may  arise,  such  as  may  call 
for  the  exercise  of  the  greatest  tenderness  and  moderation,  that  if 
happy,  through  the  blessing  of  God  on  your  endeavors,  those  lesser 
differences  may  subside,  and  a  more  general  union  commence- 

As  touching  our  consultations  at  this,  our  meeting,  the  minutes  of 


our  proceedings  (a  printed  copy  whereof  we  shall  herewith  enclose) 
will  inform  you,  and  if  in  anything  further  you  should  be  desirous  of 
information  with  regard  to  us,  we  refer  you  to  our  reverend  and  be- 
loved brethren  Morgan  Edwards,  John  Gano  and  Samuel  Jones,  who 
as  our  representative  delegates,  will  present  you  with  this  our  letter, 
and  whom  we  recommend  to  Christian  fellowship  with  you.  And  now 
dear  brethren,  farewell.  May  the  Lord  bless  and  direct  you  in  all 
things,  and  grant  that  we  may  all  hereafter  form  one  general  assem- 
bly at  his  right  hand,  through  infinite  riches  of  free  grace  in  Christ 
Jesus  our  Lord.   Signed  by  order  and  in  behalf  of  the  Association,  by 

Benjamin  Miller,  Moderator. 

Samuel  Jones,  Clerk. 

Realizing  the  importance  of  and  the  necessity  for  the 
Rhode  Island  College,  and  as  funds  were  needed,  both  for 
the  support  of  the  institution  and  for  the  ultimate  erection 
of  a  suitable  College  building,  Morgan  Edwards,  who  had 
this  subject  right  on  his  heart,  was  released  by  his  people 
from  the  care  of  his  church  for  a  time,  his  pulpit  being  sup- 
plied by  the  different  ministers  of  the  Association,  in  order 
that  he  might  collect  the  needed  aid  for  the  College.  These 
ministers  were  compensated  out  of  the  salary  of  Mr.  Ed- 
wards. This  act  was  generous  on  the  part  of  his  church, 
the  ministering  brethren,  and  Mr.  Edwards,  and  exhibited  the 
warm  place  that  education  held  in  their  hearts.  In  1767, 
he  visited  England  and  Ireland,  for  the  purpose  of  soliciting 
funds.  His  subscription  paper  bearing  the  honored  names 
of  Benjamin  Franklin  and  Benjamin  West,  may  still  be 
seen  in  the  college  archives.  On  his  relation  to  this  Insti- 
tution Dr.  William  Rogers,  in  his  sermon  commemorative 
of  Morgan  Edwards,  well  said : — 

The  College  of  Rhode  Island  is  greatly  beholden  to  him  for  his 
vigorous  exertions,  at  home  and  abroad,  in  raising  money  for  that  In- 
stitution, and  for  his  particular  activity  in  procuring  its  charter.  This 
he  deemed  the  greatest  service  he  ever  did  for  the  honor  of  the  Bap- 
tist name.  As  one  of  its  first  sons,  I  cheerfully  make  this  public  tes- 
timony of  his  laudable  and  well-timed  zeal. 

One  week   before  the    meeting  of  the   Association,  in 
1768,  the  venerable  and  faithful  Benjamin  Griffith,  of  Mont- 


gomery,  fell  asleep  in  Jesus.  This  was  on  October  5th,  in 
the  eighty-first  year  of  his  age.  In  his  day  he  was  one  of 
the  prominent  men  of  the  denomination.  Morgan  Edwards 
says,  "  Mr.  Griffith  was  a  man  of  parts,  though  not  elo- 
quent, and  had  by  industry  acquired  tolerable  acquaintance 
with  languages  and  books."  He  states  also  that  he  was 
once  offered  a  commission  of  Justice  of  the  Peace,  which, 
however,  he  declined ;  and  on  being  asked  the  reason  why 
he  refused  such  an  honor,  he  replied,  "  men  are  not  to  re- 
ceive from  offices,  but  offices  from  men — as  much  as  men 
receive  the  others  lose,  till  at  last  offices  come  to  have  no 
honor  at  all." 

The  Philadelphia  Association  usually  met  in  this  city, 
though  in  its  earlier  years  it  may  have  met  occasionally  at 
Pennypack,  Piscataway,  Cohansey,  Middleton,  and  Welsh 
Tract.  The  first  record  of  its  meeting  out  of  this  city  is  in 
1769,  when  its  sessions  were  held  in  New  York,  with  the 
church  constituted  there  June  19,  1762.  At  this  meeting 
held  in  October,  pleasing  accounts  from  Rhode  Island  Col- 
lege were  conveyed  to  the  Association.  Its  first  Com- 
mencement had  been  held  the  previous  month,  when  seven 
young  men  had  been  graduated,  among  whom  was  William 
Rogers,  hereafter  to  be  mentioned.  The  College  was  very 
profuse  in  its  honors  that  year,  twenty-two  Ministers  or  lay- 
men receiving  honorary  degrees,  among  those  who  were 
the  recipients  of  the  Master's  degree  were  Rev.  Morgan 
Edwards,  Samuel  Jones,  John  Davis  and  Abel  Morgan  of 
the  Philadelphia  Association.  Whether  these  honors  had 
the  effect  to  lead  the  Association  to  appreciate  the  impor- 
tance of  having  their  Minutes  printed  we  are  not  informed ; 
at  any  rate,  that  year,  for  the  first  time,  the  Minutes  were 
printed  for  distribution  among  the  churches.  ''  Morgan 
Edwards,"  says  Dr.  Rogers,  *'  was  the  moving  cause  of 
having  the  Minutes  of  the  Philadelphia  Association  printed, 


which  he  could  not  bring  to  bear  for  some  years,  and  there- 
fore at  his  own  expense  he  printed  tables,  exhibiting  the 
original  and  annual  state  of  the  Associating  Churches." 
In  the  Minutes  for  that  year  is  the  following  record : — 

It  was  shown  by  some  from  Philadelphia,  that  they  had  obtained 
leave  from  the  church  they  belonged  to,  (on  Second  Street)  to  form 
themselves  into  a  distinct  society  in  the  Northern  Liberties  of  that 
city,  and  they  were  desirous  to  know  the  sense  of  the  Association 
touching  their  design ;  voted,  That  if  any  of  our  Ministers  were  free 
to  constitute  them  into  a  church,  in  said  Liberties,  they  might  do  it 
without  offending  the  Association. 

This  answer  would  imply  that  there  was  some  doubt  as 
to  the  propriety  of  this  movement,  yet  the  church  was  or- 
ganized, as  in  the  Minutes  of  the  next  year  is  the  follow- 

The  church  in  the  Northern  Liberties,  of  Philadelphia,  proposed 
to  join  the  Association ;  but,  objections  being  made,  the  matter  was 
referred  to  the  Committee,  who  brought  in  their  report,  and  the 
junction  was  deferred. 

By  this  time  the  churches  and  members  of  our  denomi- 
nation, who  had  already  endured  such  bitter  persecutions  in 
New  England,  Virginia  and  other  places,  were  growing 
restless  under  the  fierce  hostilities  for  non-conformity  to  the 
religious  establishments.  They  came  with  a  statement  of 
their  wrongs  to  the  Philadelphia  Association,  and  that  body, 
loyal  to  the  great  Baptist  principle  of  liberty  of  conscience, 
then,  as  ever  afterward,  manifested  practical  sympathy,  and 
inaugurated  those  active  measures  which  contributed  their 
influence  in  securing  to  this  country,  ultimately,  that  re- 
ligious liberty  now  enjoyed.     The  minutes  for  1769  state : — 

By  letter  and  messengers  from  Warren,  we  were  informed  that 
they  had  petitioned  the  Legislatures  of  Boston  and  Connecticut  in 
favor  of  their  brethren  who  suffer  for  non-conformity  to  the  religious 
establishments  of  those  colonies;  and  in  case  their  petitions  produced 
not  a  speedy  or  effectual  redress  of  their  grievances,  requested  that  we 
would  join  with  them  in  a  petition  to  our  gracious  sovereign. 


Voted,  that  this  Association  will  not  only  join  that  of  Warren  in 
seeking  relief  for  our  oppressed  brethren,  but  will  also  solicit  the  con- 
currence of  the  Associations  of  Virginia  and  Carolina  in  the  design, 
if  need  be. 

Voted  also.  That  letters  and  messengers  be  sent  to  signify  this, 
our  resolution.  The  letter  to  the  Warren  Association  was  drawn  up 
by  the  Rev.  Samuel  Jones ;  the  messengers.  Rev.  Samuel  Waldo  and 
Rev.  Benjamin  Coles.  That  to  the  Virginia  Association  by  Rev. 
Hezekiah  Smith ;  the  messenger.  Rev.  John  Gano. 

These  efforts  were  unavailing,    however,  as   we   learn 

from  the  Association  minutes  of  1770  : — 

By  the  letter  from  the  Warren  Association,  it  appears  that  our 
brethren  in  New  England  are  sorely  oppressed  this  year  again,  and  no 
redress  obtained,  though  diHgently  sought  for;  their  case  is  to  go 
home  soon,  to  be  laid  at  the  feet  of  our  gracious  sovereign.  Rev. 
Hezekiah  Smith  is  appointed  agent,  who  proposes  to  sail  about  the 
beginning  of  November,  They  requested  their  brethren  belonging 
to  this  Association  to  help  them  to  defray  the  expenses  of  the  agent. 
The  request  was  attended  to  with  much  sympathy.  Collections  to  be 
made  in  all  our  churches  immediately  and  to  be  sent  either  to  Mr. 
George  Wescott,  of  Philadelphia,  or  Mr.  Williams,  of  New  York,  to 
be  by  them  forwarded  to  London.  Also,  a  committee  was  appointed 
to  draw  a  memorial,  addressed  to  Rev.  Dr.  Stennett  and  others,  in 
favor  of  our  New  England  brethren's  design. 

We  cannot  here  refrain  from  giving  the  contents  of 
the  letters  received  from  New  England  concerning  the 
sufferings  of  our  brethren  at  Ashfield,  near  Boston : — 

The  laws  of  this  province  were  never  intended  to  exempt  the 
Baptists  from  paying  towards  building  and  repairing  Presbyterian 
meeting-houses,  and  making  up  Presbyterian  ministers'  salaries  ;  for, 
besides  other  insufficiencies,  they  are  all  limited  as  to  extent  and 
duration.  The  first  law  extended  only  five  miles  around  each  Baptist 
meeting-house ;  those  without  this  circle  had  no  relief,  neither  had 
they  within,  for,  though  it  exempted  their  polls,  it  left  their  estate  to 
the  mercy  of  harpies,  and  their  estates  went  to  wreck.  The  Baptists 
sought  a  better  law,  and  with  great  difficulty,  and  waste  of  time  and 
money,  obtained  it.  But  this  was  not  universal ;  it  extended  not  to 
any  parish  until  a  Presbyterian  meeting-house  should  be  built  and  a 
Presbyterian  minister  settled  there;  in  consequence  of  which,  the 
Baptists  have  never  been  freed  from  the  first  and  great  expenses  of 
their  parishes— expenses  equal  to  the  current  expenses  of  ten  or 
twelve   years.      This  is  the  present  case  of  the   people  of  Ashfield, 


which  is  a  Baptist  settlement.     There  were  but  five  families  of  other 
denominations  in  the  place  when  the  Baptist  church  was  constituted ; 
but  those  five  and  a  few  more  have  lately  built  a  Presbyterian  meeting- 
house and  settled  an  orthodox  minister,  as  they  call  him ;  which  last 
cost  ;{^20o.     To  pay  for  both,  they  laid  a  tax  on  the  land,  and,  as  the 
Baptists  are  the  most  numerous,  the  greatest  part  fell  to  their  share. 
The  Presbyterians,  in  April  last  demanded  the  money.     The  Baptists 
pleaded  poverty,  alleging  that  they  had  been  twice  driven  from  their 
plantations  by  the  Indians'  last  war ;  that  they  were  but  new  settlers, 
and  had  cleared   but  a  few  spots  of  land,  and  had  not  been  able  to 
build   commodious   dwelling   houses.     The  tyrants  would  not  hear. 
Then  the  Baptists  pleaded  the  ingratitude  of  such  conduct,  for  they 
had  built  a  fort  there  at  their  own  expense,  and  had  maintained  it  for 
two  years,  and  so  had  protected  the  interior  Presbyterians,  as  well  as 
their  neighbors,  who  now  rose  up  against  them ;  that  the  Baptists  to 
the  westward  had  raised  money  to  relieve  Presbyterians  who  had,  like 
them,  suffered  from  the  Indians ;  and  that  it  was  cruel  to  take  from 
them  what  the  Indians  had  left.  But  nothing  touched  the  hearts  of  these 
cruel  people.     Then  the  Baptists  urged  the  law  of  the  province  ;  but 
were  soon  told  that  that  law  extended  to  no  new  parish* till  the  meeting- 
house and  minister  were  paid  for.    Then  the  Baptists  petitioned  the  gen- 
eral court ;  proceedings  were  stopped  till  further  orders,  and  the  poor 
people  went  home  rejoicing,  thinking  their  property  safe ,  but  had  not 
all  got  home  before  said  order  came,  and  it  was  an  order  for  the  Pres- 
byterians to  proceed.     Accordingly,  in  the  month  of  April  they  fell 
foul  on  their  plantations,  and  not  on  skirts  and  corners,   but  on  the 
cleared  and  improved  spots,  and  so  have  mangled  their  estates,  and 
left  them  hardly  any   but   a  wilderness ;  they   sold   the    house    and 
garden  of  one  man,  and  the  young  orchards,  meadows  and  corn-fields 
of  others  ;  nay,  they  sold  their  dead,  for  they  sold  their  grave-yard. 
The    orthodox   minister   was  one  of  the  purchasers.      These   spots 
amounted  to  three  hundred  and  ninety-five  acres,  and  have  since  been 
valued  at  £^^6^  Ss.,  but  were  sold    for  ^35  loj-.       This  was  the  first 
payment ;  two  more  are  coming,  which  will  not  leave  them  an  inch  of 
land  at  this  rate.     The  Baptists  waited  on  the   Assembly  five  times 
this  year  for  relief,  but  were  not  heard,  under  pretence   they  did   no 
business  ;  but  their  enemies  were  heard,  and  had  their  business  done. 
At  last  the  Baptists  got  together  about  a  score  of  the  members  at 
Cambridge,  and  made  their  complaint  known  ;   but  in  general  they 
were  treated  very  superciliously.     One  of  them  spoke  to  this  eftect: 
'■^The  general  assetnbly  have  a  right  to  do  what  they  did,  ajid  if  you 
don't  like  it  yoic  may  quit  the  placed     But^  alas,   they  must  leave 
their  all  behind  !     These  Presbyterians  are  not  only  supercilious  in 
power,   but  mean  and  cruel  in  mastery.     When  they  came  together 
to  mangle  the  estates  of  the  Baptists,  they  diverted  themselves  with 


the  tears  and  lamentations  of  the  oppressed.  One  of  them,  whose 
name  is  Wells,  stood  up  to  preach  a  mock  sermon  on  the  occasion ; 
and,  among  other  things,  used  words  to  this  effect:  ^^The  Baptists, 
for  refusing  to  pay  an  orthodox  minister,  shall  be  cut  in  pound  pieces 
and  boiled  for  their  fat  to  grease  the  deviVs  carriage,''  etc. 

The  meeting-house  at  Pennypack,  erected  in  1707,  was 
torn  down  in  1770,  and  a  neat  stone  building  was  erected, 
30  by  33  feet,  "with  pews,  galleries,  and  a  stove,  which 
latter  accommodation  was  not  to  be  found  in  all  the  meet- 
ing-houses." The  present  edifice  at  Lower  Dublin  was 
erected  in  1805,  when  Dr.  Samuel  Jones  was  pastor. 


CHAPTER   XL— 1771-1775. 


WE  come  now  to  the  decade  in  American  History 
which  tried  men's  souls,  and  in  which  our  own  city 
acted  no  unimportant  part.  The  record  of  our  denomi- 
nation in  these  parts  then  was  true  and  our  Ministry  almost 
to  a  man  were  loyal  to  those  principles  for  which,  through 
all  the  ages  of  Christianity,  Baptists  have  so  earnestly  con- 
tended. Up  to  April  6,  1 77 1,  Rev.  Samuel  Jones  remained 
connected  with  the  First  Baptist  Church ;  on  that  date  he 
united  with  Pennypack.  At  the  church  meeting  in  Phila- 
delphia, held  July  8th,  177 1,  Rev.  Morgan  Edwards  made 
the  following  proposal : — 

My  Brethren: — I  have  observed,  for  some  time,  that  the  interest 
does  not  thrive  under  my  ministration  as  it  was  wont  to  do  in  years 
past,  but  is  rather  dedining.  This  has  given  me  trouble,  and  trouble 
that  I  am  less  able  to  bear  of  any  other  trouble  whatsoever.  Accord- 
ingly, I  have  the  last  year  made  this  proposal  to  some  of  the  Brethren, 
viz. :  that  they  should  look  out  for  a  popular  Preacher,  and  that  I 
would  resign  half  my  salary  in  order  to  enable  the  church  to  pay  him. 
Things  are  still  in  the  same  situation,  and  my  declining  age  and  the 


present  posture  of  affairs  forbid  me  to  hope  for  better  times.  I  there- 
fore now  repeat  to  the  church  what  I  before  mentioned  to  indi- 
viduals, viz.:  that  you  will  seek  for  a  Minister  suitable  to  the  place; 
and  a  man  of  such  talents  as  promise  the  revival  of  the  interest.  On 
this  I  am  much  in  earnest,  and,  because  in  earnest,  I  do  offer  you  my 
help  to  find  such  a  man,  either  in  America  or  Europe,  and  to  bring 
him  hither.  I  also  propose  to  insist  on  no  terms  for  myself  which 
will  hinder  such  an  event  from  coming  to  pass,  and  in  the  meantime 
intend  not  to  leave  you  destitute,  because  I  seek  your  good,  as  a 
Church,  and  the  good  of  the  interest  in  general  more  than  my  own 
private  advantage,  for  the  credibility  of  this  I  appeal  to  my  whole 
conduct  since  I  have  been  here  and  to  my  former  and  present  pro- 

This  resignation  was  accepted  unconditionally.     At  the 

church    meeting   in   August,    Rev.  Samuel   Stillman,  and 

John  Davis  of  Boston,  Hezekiah  Smith  of  Haverhill,  John 

Gano    of  New   York,    Samuel   Jones    of  Pennypack,    and 

Oliver  Hart  of  Charleston,  were  placed  in  nomination  for 

the  pastorate.   The  first  one  was  chosen,  and  a  very  urgent 

and  cordial  letter  was   sent  to  him,  to  which,  while  on  a 

visit  to  this  city,  he  replied  as  follows : — 

To  the  Baptist  Church  and  Congregation  in  Philadelphia.  Dear 
Brethren: — Your  call  I  have  received  and  deliberately  considered. 
The  application  to  me,  on  this  occasion,  I  view  as  an  expression  of 
your  affection  for  and  confidence  in  me,  for  which  I  am  much  obliged 
to  you.  Permit  me  to  assure  you  that  I  am  sensibly  touched  with  your 
circumstances,  and  may  God  send  you  a  pastor  after  his  own  heart. 
The  arguments  with  which  you  urge  your  invitation  to  me  are  weighty, 
and  would  be  sufficient  to  incline  me  to  accept  it  and  settle  among 
you,  were  I  not  so  closely  connected  in  Boston.  A  few  hints  out  of 
many  that  might  be  given  cannot  fail  of  convincing  you  that  it  is  im- 
practicable for  me  to  leave  a  people  with  whom  I  am  so  intimately  and 
agreeably  connected.  It  may  suffice  to  say  that  the  Lord  hath  been 
pleased  to  succeed  my  imperfect  services  among  the  people,  inso- 
much that  the  church  has  greatly  increased  and  is  now  increasing. 
I  left  a  considerable  number  under  solemn  concern  of  mind.  They 
are  also  at  peace  among  themselves,  and  have,  for  several  years,  dis- 
covered a  warm  affection  for  me.  The  congregation  has  become  so 
numerous  that  they  have  been  obliged  to  pull  down  the  old  meeting 
house  and  to  build  one  much  larger.  This  house  they  are  now 
building  for  me  at  a  great  expense,  which  they  cheerfully  endure, 
confiding  in  me  that  I  will  continue  among  them.     Under  these  cir- 


cumstances  I  cannot  think  it  my  duty,  brethren,  to  leave  them,  al- 
though it  would  afford  me  great  pleasure  to  reside  in  this  my  native 
city,  among  my  relations  and  friends,  and  to  serve  you  in  the  Gospel. 
Wishing  you  grace,  mercy  and  peace  from  Christ  Jesus,  I  subscribe 
yours  in  the  Faith  and  Fellowship  of  the  Gospel. 

Philadelphia,  November  5,  1771.  Samuel  Stillman. 

The  same  year,  October  i6th,  the  Northern  Liberty 
Church,  referred  to  in  the  previous  chapter,  was  received 
into  the  Association  with  sixteen  members.  Its  numbers 
never  increased,  and  it  was  supplied  with  preaching  by  the 
ministers  of  the  Association.  Its  name  appears  on  the 
Minutes  until  1776,  but  not  thereafter.  At  this  session  of 
the  Association,  the  missionary  spirit,  which,  from  the  very 
first  of  its  history,  had  been  so  manifest  in  the  readiness  to 
visit  destitute  churches  and  settlements  culminated  in  the 
appointment  of  Rev.  Morgan  Edwards  as  an  Evangelist. 
He  was  "sent  into  remote  regions,  especially  South,  to 
preach  the  Gospel,  counsel  the  feeble  churches,  and  instruct 
the  scattered  disciples  of  Christ."  This  took  him  from  the 
pastorate  which  for  ten  years  he  had  ably  filled,  and  during 
which  time  he  had  baptized  into  the  fellowship  of  the 
church  one  hundred  and  seventeen  persons.  The  Asso- 
ciation Minutes  for  1774  state:  "The  ministers  expressed  a 
readiness  to  supply  Philadelphia  in  case  Mr.  Edwards 
should  proceed  in  the  execution  of  his  public  office."  That 
his  work  was  successful  and  appreciated  is  evident,  because 
in  1772,  "  the  thanks  of  the  Association  were  returned  to 
brother  Morgan  Edwards  for  his  services  in  travelling  and 
visiting  the  churches  to  the  southward;  and  the  interest  of 
the  Association  fund,  for  the  last  year,  voted  him,  together 
with  £6  more,  made  up  by  the  brethren  present,  and  sent 
him  by  Mr.  Samuel  Jones."  January  i,  1770,  Rev.  Morgan 
Edwards  preached  a  New  Year's  sermon  from  the  text„ 
"  This  year  thou  shalt  die."  He  became  possessed  of  the 
idea  that  on  a  certain  day  of  that  year  he  would  die,  which. 


together  with  some  other  irregularities,  had  an  injurious 
effect,  and  discouraged  him  in  his  pastorate,  but  he  con- 
tinued preaching  for  the  Church,  until  the  settlement  of 
his  successor,  an  event  which  in  part  he  was  the  means  of 
bringing  about,  in  connection  with  Dr.  Stillman.  In  1772, 
he  removed  with  his  family  to  Newark,  Delaware,  but  still 
retained  his  connection  with  the  church  he  had  recently 

In  December,  1 771,  William  Rogers,  Principal  of  an 
Academy  at  Newport,  Rhode  Island,  was  induced  to  visit 
Philadelphia,  and  continued  preaching  for  the  church  until 
March  4th,  1772,  when  he  was  unanimously  called  to  the 
pastorate.  This  he  accepted,  and  was  ordained  on  Sunday, 
the  31st  of  May,  following.  Mr.  Rogers  was  born  in 
Newport,  R.  I.  July  22,  1751.  His  parents  were  members 
of  the  Baptist  Church  in  that  town.  Having  gone  through 
a  preparatory  course  in  Grafton,  Mass.,  he  entered  the 
Freshman  Class  of  Brown  University,  in  September,  1765, 
and  graduated  with  the  first  class  from  that  institution  in 
1769.  The  following  year  he  was  converted  to  God,  was 
baptized  by  Rev.  Gardiner  Thurston,  and  was  received  as  a 
member  of  the  Second  Baptist  Church  of  Newport,  by 
prayer  and  the  imposition  of  hands.  In  August,  1771,  this 
Church  licensed  him  to  preach  the  Gospel,  and  dismissed 
him  by  letter  to  Philadelphia,  April  14,  1772.  The  sermon 
on  the  occasion  of  his  ordination  was  preached  by  Rev. 
Isaac  Eaton,  from  the  words,  "Who  is  sufficient  for  these 
things?"  This  was  the  last  sermon  he  ever  preached,  for 
he  died  July  4th,  1772,  and  this  text  was  the  first  one  that 
Mr.  Rogers  ever  preached  from.  When  we  remember  that 
Isaac  Eaton  was  the  first  Baptist  to  found  an  Academy  in 
America,  from  which  really  sprang  Brown  University,  also 
that  William  Rogers  was  a  member  of  the  first  graduating 
class  of  that  University,  it  was  eminently  appropriate  that 


the  above  sermon  should  be  preached  by  Mr.  Eaton  in  the 
very  church  edifice  where  Brown  University  was  practi- 
tically  projected.  It  was  singular  that  the  last  sermon  of 
this  good  and  useful  educator  among  the  Baptists  of  this 
country  should  have  been  delivered  amidst  circumstances 
of  such  peculiar  interest. 

God's  blessing  attended  the  settlement  of  Mr.  Rogers, 
from  the  very  first,  for,  on  the  8th  of  June  following  his 
ordination,  five  persons  narrated  their  experience  for  bap- 
tism, one  of  these,  John  Levering,  was  the  first  person  bap- 
tized by  Mr.  Rogers.  He  became  a  constituent  member 
and  for  forty  years  an  honored  deacon  of  the  Roxborough 
Baptist  Church,  of  this  city.  By  the  following  October 
twenty-three  persons  had  been  received  into  the  First 
Church  by  baptism,  and  the  membership  increased  to  one 
hundred  and  sixty-four.  It  was  the  custom  of  the  church 
then,  as  previously,  to  admit  all  members  after  baptism  *'by 
prayer  and  laying  on  of  hands." 

October  17,  1772,  Rev.  Ebenezer  Kinnersley,  on  account 
of  failing  health,  tendered  his  resignation  as  Professor  of 
Rhetoric  in  the  University  of  Pennsylvania.  His  resigna- 
tion was  accepted,  and  on  the  minutes  of  the  Board  of 
Trustees  of  the  University,  under  date  of  February  23, 
1773,  is  the  following  record: — 

The  College  suffers  greatly  since  Mr.  Kinnersley  left  it,  for  want  of 
a  person  to  teach  public  speaking,  so  that  the  present  class  have  not 
those  opportunities  to  declaim  and  speak  which  have  been  of  so  much 
use  to  their  predecessors,  and  have  contributed  greatly  to  aid  the  credit 
of  the  Institution. 

He  died  July,  1778,  and  was  buried   in   the  grave-yard 

at  Pennypack.     His  tombstone  bears  the  following  simple 

inscription  : — 

In  memory  of  the 

Rev.  Ebenezer  Kinnersley, 

who  died  July  4,  1778, 

aged  67  years. 


A  memorial  window  to  his  memory  has  been  placed  in 
one  of  the  buildings  of  the  University. 

The  persecutions  of  the  Baptists  in  Massachusetts  still 
continued.  The  letter  from  the  Warren  to  the  Philadelphia 
Association,  in  1773,  stated,  "Our  sufferings  in  Boston 
government  on  religious  accounts  still  continue  in  several 
places ;  a  particular  narrative  of  which  is  to  be  printed,  with 
a  fair  representation  of  the  treatment  which  the  Baptists 
have  met  with  in  said  government  in  time  past."  For  these 
persecuted  Baptists  of  New  England,  their  brethren  in 
Philadelphia  ever  felt  the  deepest  interest,  and  manifested 
the  most  profound  sympathy. 

That  year,  in  order  that  the  scattered  churches  of  the 
Association  might  more  easily  reach  the  sessions,  it  was 
resolved,  thereafter,  that  said  body  should  hold  two  meet- 
ings a  year,  one  in  May,  in  New  York,  and  the  other 
in  October,  in  Philadelphia.  This  plan  was  carried  into 
effect  in  1774,  but  it  was  not  found  practical,  so,  at  the 
meeting  in  October,  the  project  was  annulled. 

Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  of  Pennypack,  in  connection  with  his 
ministerial  work,  commenced  an  academy  in  his  own  resi- 
dence, for  the  instruction  of  young  men  in  theology. 
Several  of  our  early  ministers  received  their  first  instruction 
in  divinity  there.  Among  these  were  Burgis  Allison,  who 
was  born  in  Bordentown,  N.  J.,  August  17th,  1753,  and 
baptized  at  Upper  Freehold,  in  the  same  state,  in  October, 
1769.  In  1774  he  repaired  to  the  school  of  Mr.  Jones' 
where  he  received  a  classical,  and,  to  some  extent,  a  theo- 
logical education.  June  ist,  1776,  he  was  received  by  letter 
into  the  Pennypack  church,  by  which  he  was  licensed  to 
preach  April  27th,  1777.  He  was  ordained  there  June  loth, 
1 78 1,  and  became  pastor  of  the  newly  organized  church  in 
his  native  town. 



September  5th,  1774,  the  first  Continental  Congress  met 
in  Philadelphia,  at  Carpenter's  Hall.  The  grievances  of  the 
brethren  in  New  England  had  become  so  severe  that  it  was 
concluded  to  lay  the  matter  before  that  body.  At  a  meet- 
ing of  representatives  of  twenty  Baptist  churches,  held  at 
Medfield,  near  Boston,  September  14th,  Rev.  Isaac  Backus 
was  selected  to  proceed  to   Philadelphia,  for  this   object. 


"  Mr.  Backus,"  says  Hovey,  in  his  "  Life  and  Times"  of 
this  indefatigable  laborer  for  soul  liberty,  ''began  his 
journey  on  the  26th  of  September;  it  occupied  nearly  a 
fortnight.  At  Providence  he  met  with  Elders  Gano  and 
Van  Home,  who  went  on  with  him  by  land.  Old  Mr. 
Chileab  Smith  joined  them  at  Norwich,  prepared  to  testify 
of  the  oppressions  at  Ashfield.     On  the  8th  of  October  they 


arrived  in  Philadelphia,  and  Mr.  Backus  was  kindly  enter- 
tained at  the  house  of  Mr.  Samuel  Davis.  On  the  morrow, 
it  being  the  Lord's  day,  he  preached  three  times  in  the 
pulpit  of  Rev.  William  Rogers.  His  diary  indicates  suffi- 
ciently the  course  of  events  during  the  next  few  days  ": — 

"  Monday,  October  loth,  visited  Robert  Strettle  Jones, 
Esq.,  in  the  forenoon,  and  Mr.  Joseph  Moulder  in  the  after- 
noon— gentlemen  who  were  desirous  of  knowing  how  our 
affairs  were  in  New  England,  and  who  seem  willing  to  exert 
themselves  in  our  favor. 

"Oct.  nth,  our  Elders  Manning  and  Jones  arrived  with 
others,  and  we  held  a  meeting  at  Esquire  Jones'  in  the 
evening,  where  were  Israel  and  James  Pemberton  and 
Joseph  Fox,  principal  men  among  the  Quakers,  with  other 
gentlemen.  I  then  laid  open  our  condition  in  New  England, 
and  asked  their  advice,  whether  to  lay  the  case  before  Con- 
gress or  not.  They  advised  us  not  to  address  Congress  as 
a  body,  at  present,  but  to  seek  for  a  conference  with  the 
Massachusetts  delegates,  together  with  some  other  members 
who  were  known  to  be  friendly  to  religious  liberty.  They 
also  manifested  a  willingness  to  be  helpful  in  our  case." 

"Oct.  1 2th,  spent  the  forenoon  with  Esquire  Jones  in  draw- 
ing up  a  memorial  of  our  case  to  lay  before  the  conference.  In 
the  afternoon  the  Philadelphia  Association  met  in  that  city, 
continuing  in  session  three  days.  Before  closing  it,  made 
choice  of  a  committee  of  grievances  to  correspond  with 
ours  in  New  England,  and  to  prosecute  such  measures  for 
our  relief  as  they  should  judge  best." 

The  proceedings  of  the  Association  on  this  matter  are 
thus  given  in  the  minutes  : — 

The  case  of  our  brethren  suffering  under  ecclesiastical  oppression 
in  New  P2ngland  being  taken  into  consideration,  it  was  agreed  to 
recommend  our  churches  to  contribute  to  their  necessities,  agreeable 
to  the  pattern  of  the  primitive  churches,  who  contributed  to  the  relief 
of  the  distressed  brethren  in  Judea.     And  that  the  money  raised  for 


them  be  remitted  to  Mr.  Backus,  to  be  by  him,  in  conjunction  with 
the  committee  of  advice  in  said  colony,  distributed  to  the  brethren. 

The  case  of  our  brethren  above  considered,  induced  us  to  appoint 
a  committee  of  grievances,  who  may,  from  time  to  time,  receive 
accounts  of  the  sufferings  and  difficulties  of  our  friends  and  brethren 
in  the  neighboring  colonies ;  and  meet  as  often  as  shall  appear  need- 
ful in  the  city  of  Philadelphia,  to  consult  upon  and  prosecute  such 
measures  for  their  relief  as  they  shall  judge  most  expedient;  and  may 
correspond  with  the  Baptist  committee  in  the  Massachusetts  Bay,  or 
elsewhere.  Accordingly,  the  following  gentlemen  were  appointed, 
viz.  :  Robert  Strettle  Jones,  Esq.,  Mr.  Samuel  Davis,  Mr.  Stephen 
Shewel,  Mr.  Thomas  Shields,  Mr.  George  Wescott,  Alexander 
Edwards,  Esq.,  Benjamin  Bartholomew,  Esq.,  John  Evans,  Esq., 
JohnMayhew,  Esq.,  Edward  Keasley,  Esq.,  Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  A.M., 
Rev.  Morgan  Edwards,  A.  M.,  Rev.  William  Vanhorn,  A.  M.,  Mr. 
Abraham  Beakley,  Abel  Evans,  Esq.,  Samuel  Miles,  Esq.,  Mr. 
James  Morgan  and  Mr.  John  Jarman.  Any  five  of  them  to  be  a 

"  October  14th,"  says  Backus,  in  his  diary,  "  in  the 
evening,  there  met  at  Carpenter's  Hall  Thomas  Gushing, 
Samuel  Adams  and  Robert  Treat  Paine,  Esqs.,  delegates 
from  Massachusetts ;  and  there  were  also  present  James 
Kinzie,  of  New  Jersey ;  Stephen  Hopkins  and  Samuel  Ward, 
of  Rhode  Island ;  Joseph  Galloway  and  Thomas  Mifflin, 
Esq.,  of  Pennsylvania;  and  other  members  of  Gongress. 
Mr.  Rhodes,  Mayor  of  the  city  of  Philadelphia,  Israel  and 
James  Pemberton,  and  Joseph  Fox,  Esqrs.,  of  the  Quakers, 
and  other  gentlemen,  also  Elders  Manning,  Gano,  Jones, 
Rogers,  Edwards,  etc.,  were  present.  The  conference  was 
opened  by  Mr.  Manning,  who  made  a  short  speech,  and  then 
read  the  memorial  which  was  drawn  up." 

This  very  important  historical  document,  drawn  up  in 
Philadelphia,  is  as  follows  : — 

It  has  been  said  by  a  celebrated  writer  in  politics,  that  but  two 
things  were  worth  contending  for, — Religion  and  Liberty.  For  the 
latter  we  are  at  present  nobly  exerting  ourselves  through  all  this  ex- 
tensive continent,  and  surely  no  one  whose  bosom  feels  the  patriot 
glow  in  behalf  of  civil  liberty,  can  remain  torpid  to  the  more  ennobling 
flame  of  Religious  Freedom.     The  free  exercise  of  private  judg- 


ment  and  the  unalienable  rights  of  conscience,  are  of  too  high  a  rank 
and  dignity  to  be  subjected  to  the  decrees  of  councils,  or  the  imper- 
fect laws  of  fallible  legislators.  The  merciful  Father  of  mankind  is 
the  alone  Lord  of  conscience.  Establishments  may  be  able  to  confer 
worldly  distinctions,  but  cannot  create  Christians.  They  have  been 
reared  by  craft  or  power,  but  liberty  never  flourished  perfectly  under 
their  control.  That  liberty,  virtue  and  public  happiness  can  be  sup- 
ported without  them,  this  flourishing  province  [Pennsylvania]  is  a 
glorious  testimony,  and  a  view  of  it  would  be  sufficient  to  invalidate 
all  the  most  elaborate  arguments  ever  adduced  in  support  of  them. 
Happy  in  the  enjoyment  of  these  undoubted  rights,  and  conscious  of 
their  high  import,  every  lover  of  mankind  must  be  desirous,  as  far  as 
opportunity  offers,  of  extending  and  securing  the  enjoyment  of  these 
inestimable  blessings. 

These  reflections  have  arisen  from  considering  the  unhappy  situa- 
tion of  our  brethren,  the  Baptists,  in  the  province  of  Massachusetts 
Bay,  for  whom  we  now  appear  as  advocates,  and  from  the  important 
light  in  which  liberty  in  general  is  now  beheld,  we  trust  our  repre- 
sentation will  be  effectual.  The  province  of  Massachusetts  Bay, 
being  settled  by  persons  who  fled  from  civil  and  rehgious  oppression, 
it  would  be  natural  to  imagine  them  deeply  impressed  with  the  value 
of  liberty,  and  nobly  scorning  a  domination  of  conscience.  But  such 
was  the  complexion  of  the  times,  they  fell  from  the  unhappy  state  of 
being  oppressed,  to  the  more  deplorable  and  ignoble  one  of  becoming 
oppressors.  But  these  things  being  passed  over,  we  intend  to  begin 
with  the  charter  obtained  at  the  happy  restoration.  This  charter 
grants  that  there  shall  be  liberty  of  conscience  allowed  in  the  worship 
of  God,  to  all  Christians  except  Papists,  inhabiting  or  which  shall  in- 
habit or  be  resident  within  this  province  or  territory,  or  in  the  words 
of  the  late  Governor  Hutchinson,  ''  We  find  nothing  in  the  new  char- 
ter of  an  ecclesiastical  constitution.  Liberty  of  conscience  is  granted 
to  all  except  '  Papists.'  "  The  first  General  Court  that  met  under  this 
charter  returned  their  thanks  for  the  following  sentiment  delivered 
before  them : — That  the  magistrate  is  most  properly  the  officer  of 
human  society,  that  a  Christian  by  nonconformity  to  this  or  that  im- 
posed way  of  worship,  does  not  break  the  terms  upon  which  he  is 
to  enjoy  the  benefits  of  human  society,  and  that  a  man  has  a  right  to 
his  estate,  his  liberty,  and  his  family,  notwithstanding  his  noncon- 
formity. And  on  this  declaration  the  historian  who  mentions  it, 
plumes  himself  as  if  the  whole  future  system  of  an  impartial  admin- 
istration was  to  begin.  By  laws  made  during  the  first  charter,  such 
persons  only  were  entitled  to  vote  for  civil  rulers  as  were  church 
members.  This  might  be  thought  by  some  to  give  a  shadow  of  eccle- 
siasticalpower ;  but  by  the  present  [charter]  '^  every  freeholder  of 
thirty  pounds  sterhng  per  annum,  and  every  other  inhabitant  who 


has  forty  pounds  personal  estate,  are  voters  for  representatives."  So 
there  seems  an  evident  foundation  to  presume  they  are  only  elected 
for  the  preservation  ot  civil  rights,  and  the  management  of  temporal 
concernments.  Nevertheless  they  soon  began  to  assume  the  power  of 
establishing  Congregational  worship,  and  taxed  all  the  inhabitants 
towards  its  support,  and  no  act  was  passed  to  exempt  other  denom- 
inations from  the  year  1692  to  1727,  when  the  Episcopalians  were 
permitted  to  enjoy  their  rights. 

The  first  act  for  the  relief  of  the  Baptists  was  in  1728,  when  their 
polls  only  were  exempted  from  taxation,  and  not  their  estates,  and 
then  only  of  such  as  lived  within  five  miles  of  a  Baptist  Meeting 
House.  The  next  year,  1729,  thirty  persons  were  apprehended  and 
confined  in  Bristol  Jail,  some  Churchmen,  some  Friends,  but  most  of 
the  Baptist  denomination.  Roused  by  these  oppressions,  the  Baptists 
and  Quakers  petitioned  the  General  Court ;  being  determined,  if  they 
could  not  obtain  redress,  to  apply  to  his  Majesty  in  council.  Where- 
fore the  same  year,  a  law  was  passed  exempting  their  estates  and 
polls  ;  but  clogged  however  with  a  limitation,  for  less  than  five  years. 
At  the  expiration  of  this  act,  in  1733,  our  brethren  were  obliged  again 
to  apply  to  the  General  Assembly,  upon  which  a  third  act  was  passed, 
1734,  exempting  Baptists  from  paying  ministerial  taxes.  This  third 
act  was  more  clear,  accurate  and  better  drawn  than  any  of  the  former, 
but  for  want  of  a  penalty  on  the  returning  officer,  badly  executed, 
subjecting  our  brethren  to  many  hardships  and  oppressions.  This 
act  expired  in  1740,  and  another  was  made  for  seven  years,  but  still 
liable  to  the  same  defects.  In  1747  the  Baptists  and  Friends,  wearied 
with  fruitless  applications  to  the  assemblies,  once  more  proposed  ap- 
plying  at  home  for  relief,  when  the  laws  exempting  them  were  reen- 
acted  for  ten  years,  the  longest  space  ever  granted.  To  show  what 
the  liberty  was  that  these  unhappy  people  enjoyed,  it  will  be  neces- 
sary, though  we  aim  as  much  as  possible  at  brevity,  just  to  mention 
that  if  at  any  time  a  Baptist  sued  a  collector  for  the  breach  of  these 
laws,  any  damages  he  recovered  were  laid  on  the  town  and  the  Bap- 
tists residing  therein  were  thereby  obliged  to  pay  their  proportionate 
part  towards  his  indemnification.  At  this  time  such  an  instance  oc- 
curred in  the  case  of  Sturbridge,  when  Jonathan  Perry  sued  the  col- 
lector, Jonathan  Mason,  and  the  damages  were  sustained  by  the 
town,  though  the  Baptists  in  town  meeting  dissented.  And  here  it 
may  not  be  improper  to  observe,  that  the  judges  and  jury  are  under 
the  strangest  bias  to  determine  for  the  defendants.  In  the  beginning 
of  the  year  1759.  ^^  ^^t  was  passed,  breaking  in  upon  the  time  lim- 
ited, enacting  that  "  no  minister  or  member  of  an  Anabaptist  Church 
shall  be  esteemed  qualified  to  give  certificates,  other  than  such  as 
shall  have  obtained,  from  three  other  churches  commonly  called  Ana- 
baptist, in  this  or  the  neighboring  Provinces,   a  certificate  from  each 


respectively,  that  they  esteem  such  church  of  their  denomination,  and 
that  they  conscientiously  believe  them  to  be  Anabaptist. 

But  not  to  take  too  much  of  your  time,  we  would  here  just  observe 
that  all  the  laws  have  been  made  temporary,  and  without  any  penalty 
on  the  collector  or  assessors  for  the  breach  of  the  law  passed  at  the 
last  June  session,  as  it  has  been  generally  understood  to  be  so  formed 
as  to  take  away  complaint  and  establish  a  general  liberty  of  con- 
science, this  act  is  like  all  others,  temporary,  and  indeed  limited  to  a 
shorter  duration  than  most  of  them,  being  only  for  three  years.  It  is 
without  any  penalty  on  the  breach  of  it,  and  an  additional  trouble  and 
expense  is  enjoined  by  recording  the  certificates  every  year,  (though 
in  some  others  obtaining  one  certificate  during  the  existence  of  the 
law  was  sufficient)  and  concludes  thus :  '  that  nothing  in  this  act 
shall  be  construed  to  exempt  any  proprietor  of  any  new  township  from 
paying  his  part  and  portion  with  the  major  part  of  the  other  proprie- 
tors of  such  new  townships,  in  settling  a  minister  and  building  a 
meeting-house,  which  hath  been  or  shall  be  required  as  a  condition  of 
their  grant. 

And  here  we  would  just  add  a  few  words  relative  to  the  affairs  at 
Ashfield.  On  the  26th  day  of  December  next,  three  lots  of  land 
belonging  to  people  of  our  denomination,  will  be  exposed  for  sale; 
one  of  them  for  the  payment  of  so  small  a  sum  as  ten  shillings  eleven 
pence.  Although  we  have  given  but  two  instances  of  oppression  un- 
der the  above  laws,  yet  a  great  number  can  be  produced,  well  attested 
when  called  for. 

Upon  this  short  statement  of  facts  we  would  observe,  that  the 
charter  must  be  looked  upon  by  every  impartial  eye  to  be  infringed, 
so  soon  as  any  law  was  passed  for  the  establishment  of  any  particular 
mode  of  worship.  All  Protestants  are  planted  upon  the  same  footing, 
and  no  law  whatever  could  disannul  so  essential  a  part  of  a  charter 
intended  to  communicate  the  blessings  of  a  free  goverment  to  his 
Majesty's  subjects.  Under  the  first  charter,  as  was  hinted,  church- 
membership  conferred  the  rights  of  a  freeman;  but  by  the  second, 
the  possession  of  property  was  the  foundation.  Therefore,  how  could 
it  be  supposed  that  the  collective  body  of  the  people  intended  to  confer 
any  other  power  upon  their  representatives  than  that  of  making  laws 
relative  to  property  and  the  concerns  of  this  life. 

*'  Men  unite  in  society,"  according  to  the  great  Mr.  Locke,  ''with 
an  intention  in  every  one  the  better  to  preserve  himself,  his  liberty 
and  property.  The  power  of  the  society,  or  Legislature  constituted 
by  them,  can  never  be  supposed  to  extend  any  further  than  the  com- 
mon good,  but  is  obliged  to  secure  everyone's  property.''  To  give 
laws,  to  receive  obedience,  to  compel  with  the  sword,  belong  to  none 
but  the  civil  magistrate,  and  on  this  ground  we  affirm  that  the  mag- 
istrate's power  extends  not  to  the  establishing  any  articles  of  faith  or 


forms  of  worship,  by  force  of  laws ;  for  laws  are  of  no  force  without 
penalties.  The  care  of  souls  cannot  belong  to  the  civil  magistrate, 
because  his  power  consists  only  in  outward  force  ;  but  pure  and  saving 
religion  consists  in  the  inward  persuasion  of  the  mind,  without  which 
nothing  can  be  acceptable  to  God. 

It  is  a  just  position,  and  cannot  be  too  firmly  established,  that  we 
can  have  no  property  in  that  whi(.h  another  may  take,  when  he  plea- 
ses, to  himself,  neither  can  we  have  the  proper  enjoyment  of  our  re- 
ligious liberties,  (which  must  be  acknowledged  to  be  of  greater,)  if 
held  by  the  same  unjust  and  capricious  tenure ;  and  this  must  appear 
to  be  the  case  when  temporary  laws  pretend  to  grant  relief  so  very  in- 

It  may  now  be  asked — What  is  the  liberty  desired?  The  answer 
is,  as  the  kingdom  of  Christ  is  not  of  this  world,  and  religion  is  a 
concern  between  God  and  the  so<il,  with  which  no  human  authority 
can  intermeddle,  consistently  with  the  principles  of  Christianity,  and 
according  to  the  dictates  of  Protestantism,  we  claim  and  expect  the 
liberty  of  worshipping  God  according  to  our  consciences,  not  being 
obliged  to  support  a  ministry  we  cannot  attend,  whilst  we  demean 
ourselves  as  faithful  subjects.  These  we  have  an  undoubted  right  to,  as 
men,  as  Christians,  and  by  charter  as  inhabitants  of  Massachusetts  Bay. 

The  conduct  of  the  Massachusetts  delegates  at  this 
conference  was  not  very  friendly  to  the  Baptists,  so  much 
were  their  minds  warped  by  the  religious  tyrannies  com- 
plained of.  The  truth  is,  these  delegates,  subsequently 
known  among  the  great  statesmen  of  our  country,  did  not 
yet  grasp  the  full  idea  of  liberty  of  conscience  for  which 
Baptists  then,  as  ever,  were  pleading.  Their  minds  only 
comprehended  liberty  as  freedom  from  the  domination  of 
the  British  Throne.  They  did  not  rise  to  the  great  height 
for  which  Baptists  were  aiming,  viz :  Soul  Liberty.  It  is 
not  in  a  spirit  of  egotism,  but  that  of  utmost  candor,  when 
we  affirm,  that  to  this  stand  under  God,  taken  by  the  Bap- 
tists, the  people  of  this  country  owe  their  Religious  Liberty, 
more  than  to  any  other  influence.  How  far  prejudice  will 
carry  even  good  men,  however,  will  be  indicated  by  John 
Adams'  account  of  the  above  conference  in  Carpenter's 
Hall.     It  is  as  follows  : — 

^'Governor  Hopkins  and  Governor  Ward,  of  Rhode  Island,  came  to 
our  lodgings  and  said  to  us  that  President  Manning,  of  Rhode  Island 


College,  and  Mr.  Backus,  of  Massachusetts,  were  in  town,  and  had 
conversed  with  some  gentlemen  in  Philadelphia,  and  wished  we  would 
meet  them  at  six  in  the  evening,  at  Carpenter's  Hall.  Whether  they 
explained  their  designs  more  particularly  to  any  of  my  colleagues  I 
know  not,  but  I  had  no  idea  of  the  design.  We  all  went  at  the  hour, 
and,  to  my  great  surprise,  found  the  hall  almost  full  of  people,  and  a 
great  number  of  Quakers  seated  at  the  long  table,  with  their  broad- 
brimmed  beavers  on  their  heads.  We  were  invited  to  seats  among 
them,  and  informed  that  they  had  received  complaints  from  some 
Anabaptists  and  some  Friends  in  Massachusetts,  against  certain  laws 
of  that  province  restrictive  of  the  liberty  of  conscience,  and  some 
instances  were  mentioned  in  the  general  court  and  in  the  courts  of 
justice  in  which  Friends  and  Anabaptists  had  been  grievously 
oppressed.  I  know  not  how  my  colleagues  felt,  being,  like  my  friend 
Chase,  naturally  quick  and  warm,  at  seeing  our  state  and  her  delegates 
thus  summoned  before  a  self-created  tribunal,  which  was  neither  legal 
nor  constitutional. 

''  Israel  Pemberton,  a  Quaker,  of  large  property  and  more  intrigue, 
began  to  speak,  and  said  that  Congress  were  here  endeavouring  to 
form  a  union  of  the  colonies  ;  but  there  were  difficulties  in  the  way, 
and  none  of  more  importance  than  liberty  of  conscience.  The  laws  of 
New  England,  and  particularly  of  Massachusetts,  were  inconsistent 
with  it,  for  they  not  only  compelled  men  to  pay  to  the  building  of 
churches  and  support  ministers,  but  to  some  known  religious  assembly 
on  first  days,  etc.  ;  and  that  he  and  his  friends  were  desirous  of 
engaging  us  to  assure  them  that  our  state  would  repeal  all  those  laws 
and  place  things  as  they  are  in  Pennsylvania. 

A  suspicion  instantly  arose  in  my  mind,  which  I  have  ever  believed 
to  have  been  well  founded,  that  this  artful  Jesuit,  for  I  had  been 
apprised  before  of  his  character,  was  endeavoring  to  avail  himself  of 
this  opportunity  to  break  up  the  Congress  or,  at  least,  withdraw  the 
Quakers  and  the  governing  part  of  Pennsylvania  from  us ;  for,  at  that 
time,  by  means  of  a  most  unequal  representation,  the  Quakers  had  a 
majority  in  the  House  of  Assembly,  and,  by  consequence,  the  whole 
power  of  the  state  in  their  hands.  I  arose  and  spoke  in  answer  to 
him.  The  substance  of  what  I  said  was,  that  we  had  no  authority  to 
bind  our  constituents  to  any  such  proposals;  that  the  laws  of  Massa- 
chusetts were  of  the  most  mild  and  equitable  establishment;  that  it  would 
be  in  vain  for  us  to  enter  into  any  conference  on  such  a  subject,  for  we 
knew  beforehand  our  constituents  would  disavow  all  we  could  do  or 
say  for  the  satisfaction  of  those  who  invited  us  to  this  meeting.  That 
the  people  of  Massachusetts  were  as  religious  and  consciencious  as  the 
people  of  Pennsylvania  ;  that  their  conscience  dictated  to  them  that  it 
was  their  duty  to  support  those  laws,  and,  therefore,  that  very  liberty 
of    conscience    which   Mr.    Pemberton    invoked  would   demand   in- 


diligence  for  the  tender  consciences  of  the  people  of  Massachusetts, 
and  allow  them  to  preserve  their  laws  ;  that  it  might  be  depended  on 
this  was  a  point  that  could  not  be  carried ;  that  I  would  deceive  them 
by  insinuating  the  faintest  hope,  for  I  knew  they  might  as  well  turn 
the  heavenly  bodies  out  of  their  annual  and  diurnal  courses  as  the 
people  of  Massachusetts  at  the  present  day  from  their  meeting-house 
and  Sunday  laws.  Pemberton  made  no  reply  but  this,  '  Oh,  sir, 
pray  don't  urge  liberty  of  conscience  in  favor  of  such  laws.'  If  I  had 
but  known  the  particular  complaints  which  were  to  have  been  alleged, 
and  if  Pemberton  had  not  broken  irregularly  into  the  midst  of  things, 
it  might  have  been  better,  perhaps  to  have  postponed  this  declaration. 
However,  the  gentleman  proceeded  and  stated  the  particular  cases  of 
oppression  which  were  alleged  in  our  general  and  executive  courts. 
It  happened  that  Mr.  Gushing  and  Mr.  Samuel  Adams  had  been 
present  in  the  general  court  when  the  petitions  had  been  under 
deliberation,  and  they  explained  the  whole  so  clearly  that  every  reason- 
able man  must  have  been  satisfied.  Mr.  Paine  and  I  had  been  con- 
cerned at  the  bar  in  every  action  in  the  executive  courts  which  was 
complained  of,  and  we  explained  them  all  to  the  entire  satisfaction  of 
impartial  men,  and  showed  that  there  had  been  no  oppression  or 
injustice  in  any  of  them.  In  his  diary,  Mr.  Adams  describes  the 
affair  thus,  "  In  the  evening  we  were  invited  to  an  interview  at  Car- 
penter's Hall,  with  the  Quakers  and  Anabaptists.  Mr.  Backus  is  come 
here  from  Middleborough  with  a  design  to  apply  to  the  Congress  for 
a  redress  of  grievances  of  the  anti-pedo-baptists  in  our  Province. 
The  cases  from  Chelmsford,  the  case  of  Mr.  White,  ot  Haverhill,  the 
case  of  Ashfield  and  Warwick  were  mentioned  by  Mr.  Backus.  Old 
Israel  Pemberton  was  quite  rude,  and  his  rudeness  was  resented ;  but 
the  conference,  which  held  till  eleven  o'clock,  I  hope  will  produce  good." 

The  evening  succeeding  the  above  conference,  the  com- 
mittee appointed  by  the  Philadelphia  Association  held  a 
meeting,  and  in  the  account  of  their  proceedings  say,  "  We 
think  it  did  appear  that  the  delegates  from  Boston  were 
determined  to  support  the  claim  the  Legislature  made  to  a 
right  to  make  penal  laws  in  matters  of  religion."  It  was 
further  resolved,  "  That  the  committee,  not  being  satisfied 
with  the  declaration  made  last  evening  by  the  delegates 
from  Massachusetts  Bay,  are  determined  to  pursue  every 
prudent  measure  to  obtain  a  full  and  complete  redress  for 
all  grievances,  for  our  brethren  in  New  England." 

Arrangements  were  also  made  to  supply  each  of  the 

REV.    WILLIAM    ROGERS    RESIGNED.      ^  117 

delegates  with  a  copy  of  the  Memorial  read  by  Dr.  Manning, 
a  copy  of  the  above  resolution  and  a  copy  of  Dr.  Backus' 
"  Appeal  to  the  Public."  These  documents  and  the  conduct 
of  the  "  Committee  on  Grievances  "  exerted  a  powerful  in- 
fluence in  the  direction  desired,  even  though  the  course 
pursued  and  the  object  desired  by  the  brethren  from  New 
England  was  grossly  misrepresented  by  the  dominant  church 
party  in  that  quarter  as  well  as  by  the  Delegates  in  Congress 
from  Boston  and  vicinity. 

Meetings  for  fasting  and  prayer  were  now  held  in  the 
churches  of  the  Philadelphia  Association  four  times  a  year, 
and  the  men  yearned  in  soul  for  entire  liberty  of  conscience 
as  much  as  for  freedom  from  the  increasing  tyrannies  of 
Great  Britain.  At  the  Association,  in  1 77 5,  Rev.  Samuel 
Stillman  was  present,  and  was  probably  supplying  the  pulpit 
of  the  First  Church.  His  name  is  given  in  the  minutes  as 
though  he  was  actually  pastor  of  the  Church.  Rev.  William 
Rogers  resigned  the  pastorate  in  March,  but  continued  to 
supply  the  pulpit  until  the  following  June,  in  conjunction 
with  Thomas  Fleeson,  a  licentiate  of  the  Church. 


CHAPTER  XII.— 1776-1780. 


WE  now  reach  the  ever  memorable  year  of  1776, 
during  which,  on  the  Fourth  of  July,  the  Declara- 
tion of  American  Independence  was  adopted  in  Independence 
Hall.  How  much  -the  Baptists  had  to  do  with  bringing 
about  the  passage  of  that  glorious  instrument  and  its  grand 
results,  Dr.  William  Cathcart,  of  this  city,  has  ably  shown 
in  his  work,  entitled,  "  The  Baptists  and  the  American 

The  Philadelphia  Association  was  to  have  been  held,  this 
year,  in  New  York,  but  owing  to  the  troubles  in  the  country, 
a  more  retired  place  was  selected ;  hence  it  met  at  Scotch 
Plains,  New  Jersey.  That  year  the  membership  of  the 
four  churches  in  the  city  and  county  of  Philadelphia 
amounted  to  361.  The  following  is  from  the  minutes  of 

This  Association,  taking  into  consideration  the  awful  impending 
calamities  of  these  times,  and  deeply  impressed  with  a  sense  of  our 
duty  to  humble  ourselves  before  God,  by  acknowledging  our  manifold 
sins,  and  imploring  his  pardon  and  interposition  in  favor  of  our  dis- 
tressed country  ;  and  also  to  beseech  Him  to  grant  that  such  blessings 
may  accompany  the  means  of  His  grace  that  a  revival  of  pure  and 
undefiled  religion  may  universally  prevail : 

Resolved^  That  it  be,  and  is  hereby  recommended  to  our  churches, 




to  observe  four  da}s  of  humiliation  in  the  year  ensuing,  by  prayer, 
abstinence  from  food,  and  labor,  and  recreations,  lawful  on  other 
days.  The  days  proposed  for  humiliation,  are  the  Fridays  before  the 
last  Lord's  day  in  November,  February,  May  and  August. 

Our  denomination  in  these  parts  took  the  side  of  the 
Colonies  against  the  Mother  Country,  and  there  are  on 
record  many  illustrations  of  their  patriotism  and  loyalty. 
In  March,  1776,  the  General  Assembly  of  Pennsylvania 
voted  to  organize  three  battalions  of  foot,  for  the  defence  of 
the  Province,  and  appointed  Rev.  William  Rogers,  late 
pastor  of  the  First  Church,  to  be  the  sole  Chaplain  of  the 
said  forces.  "  In  June,  1778,  he  was  promoted  to  a  Brigade 
Chaplaincy  in  the  Continental  Army,  which  office  he  con- 
tinued to  hold  till  June,  1781,  when  he  retired  from  military 
service  altogether." 

Burgis  Allison,  a  licentiate  of  the  Pennypack  Church, 
when  the  British  were  in  possession  of  Philadelphia,  exerted 
his  ingenuity,  as  well  as  manifested  his  patriotism,  by  pre- 
paring kegs  containing  explosive  substances,  which  were 
floated  down  the  Delaware  river  for  the  destruction  of  the 
British  men-of-war,  lying  at  anchor  near  this  city. 

After  the  passage  of  the  "  Boston  Port  Bill,"  in  1774, 
John  Pitman  moved  from  that  city,  where  he  was  a  member 
of  the  First  Baptist  Church,  to  Philadelphia,  and  became  a 
member  of  one  of  the  Baptist  churches  here.  During  three 
years  he  was  engaged  in  secular  business,  but  in  1776  he 
joined  a  volunteer  company,  consisting  principally  of 
Quakers,  and  thereafter,  with  Christian  firmness,  patriotism 
and  piety,  he  was  identified  with  the  colonists.  As  early  as 
1777  we  find  him  preaching  the  gospel  in  various  parts  of 
New  Jersey,  and  on  October  12,  1777,  he  became  pastor  at 
Upper  Freehold.  July  30,  1778,  there  is  a  record  in  the 
minutes  of  the  Pennypack  Church  which  is  significant  of 
that  church's  patriotism.     It  is  as  follows  : — 

Elizabeth  Foster  suspended   until    she  shall  clear  herself  of  the 


charge  of  sending  the  English  army,  or  a  detachment  of  it,  to  plunder 
Captain  Lanehlen. 

In  1777  there  was  no  meeting  of  the  Association,  in  con- 
sequence of  the  ravages  of  war,  and  Philadelphia  being 
occupied  by  the  British  troops.  In  1778  it  was  held  at 
Hopewell,  N.  J.,  and  for  the  next  five  successive  years  at 
Philadelphia.  After  1776,  until  1 78 1,  no  statistics  of  the 
churches  are  given  in  the  minutes  of  the  Association.  The 
meetings  were  characterized  by  a  devotional  spirit  rather  than 
that  of  business.  All  felt  the  depressing  circumstances  of 
the  country. 

What  was  the  exact  condition  of  the  church  in  Phila- 
delphia from  May  8,  1775,  to  August  16,  1779,  is  very 
difficult  to  determine,  as  there  are  no  church  minutes  extant 
of  that  period.  It  was  owing  to  the  war,  the  absence  of 
many  members  in  the  army,  the  high  prices  of  all  the  neces- 
saries of  life,  and  the  long  occupation  of  the  city  by  the 
British  army.  At  the  latter  date  we  find  Rev.  James 
Manning,  of  Rhode  Island,  with  them.  He  had  come  to 
Philadelphia  to  learn  about  the  financial  plans  of  Congress' 
with  special  reference  to  the  interests  of  Brown  University, 
and  finding  the  Baptist  church  in  such  a  sad  condition,  he 
devoted  some  three  weeks  to  their  interests.  Between 
Providence  and  Philadelphia  he  visited  many  churches. 
His  wife  accompanied  him  on  this  visit.  The  account  of 
this  trip  is  given  in  his  diary  very  minutely,  relative  to 
Philadelphia.  From  Guild's  Memoir  of  him  we  quote  the 
following,  which  will  be  in  place: — 

Monday,  June  28.  Set  out  and  travelled  [from  Southampton]  to 
Pennypack,  Mr.  Jones',  [Rev.  Samuel  Jones].  Arrived  in  the  even- 
ing, and  found  the  family  well  and  glad  to  see  us.  Tarried  here  until 
July  2  ;  spent  the  time  agreeably  in  viewing  the  farm,  its  products, 
harvests,  etc.,  and  in  conversation.  The  season  here  extremely  hot; 
height  of  wheat  harvest ;  the  grain  struck  with  the  red  rust,  though 
little  injured,  except  the  rye,  which  is  much  blasted.  The  greatest 
part  of  the  harvest  between  here  and  Philadelphia,  where  we  arrived 


at  eleven  o'clock  A.  M.,  July  2,  is  gathered.  Put  up  at  Mr.  Goforth's, 
[a  member  of  the  Baptist  church]  and  my  horse  across  the  way,  in 
Second  street,bet\veen  Race  and  Vine  streets.  Visited  Samuel  Davis, 
[Deacon  of  the  church]  but  he  was  out  of  town  ;  also  Mr.  Rogers. 
Called  at  Mr.  Watkins'  [formerly  a  deacon  of  the  church];  then  at  Mr. 
Wescott's  [a  deacon  of  the  church];  from  thence  to  Dr.  Rush's  [one 
of  the  signers  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence],  who  treated  me 
politely;  from  thence  called  on  Messrs.  Shields  and  Moulder  [Baptists], 
Called  at  Mr.  Hart's  lodgings,  but  he  was  out,  which  was  also  the  case 
at  Mr.  Robert  Jones'.  The  evening  of  July  2,  Mr.  Joseph  Hart,  of 
the  Executive  Council,  spent  at  my  lodgings. 

Saturday,  July  3.  This  morning  came  out  a  paper,  in  which 
Congress  was  handled  pretty  severely,  under  the  signature  of  Leonidas. 
Breakfasted  at  Dr.  Rush's,  and  received  two  hundred  dollars.  Dr. 
Finley's  draft  on  him.  Spent  the  afternoon  chiefly  in  writing  to 
Providence,  by  Mr.  Ellery,  who  sets  off  this  afternoon.  Went  to  the 
State  House  ;  met  Mr.  Collins,  and  inquired,  without  much  satisfaction, 
what  was  on  foot  in  Congress,  relative  to  money.  Dined  at  Mr.  Red- 
wood's with  Mr.  Ellery,  and  returned  to  my  lodgings,  where  were 
Messrs.  Shields  and  Connolly,  who  spent  the  afternoon  with  us. 

Lord^s  Day,  July  4.  Preached  twice  with  some  freedom ;  the  morn- 
ing congregation  thin  ;  more  in  the  afternoon.  Both  church  and 
society  here  in  a  broken  state.  The  people  urgent  for  my  tarrying  a 
considerable  time,  which  did  not  suit  my  affairs.  In  the  evening  I 
visited  one  of  the  members  of  the  church  near  her  end  ;  appeared  to 
be  in  a  happy  frame  of  mind  Attended  a  religious  society  composed 
of  Baptists,  Presbyterians  and  church  people.  They  appeared  very 
serious  and  somewhat  engaged  in  religion.  Found  Gen.  Spencer  at 
my  lodgings,  now  a  member  of  Congress.  It  being  Fourth  of  July, 
the  anniversary  of  Independence,  the  Chaplains  of  Congress  preached 
suitable  to  the  occasion,  and  Congress  attended.  High  mass  was 
celebrated  and  Te  Deum  sung  at  the  Romish  chapel.  The  gentlemen 
of  the  town  were  invited  by  billets,  from  the  French  minister,  to 
attend.  T  suppose  these  causes  rendered  the  Baptist  meetings  thinner 
than  otherwise.  The  lowering  of  prices  by  the  committee  is  con- 
sidered by  the  town  as  a  violent  measure  and  only  a  temporary  relief, 
but  think  it  will  share  the  fate  of  former  state  bills.  The  suburbs  of  this 
city  greatly  destroyed  by  the  English,  but  the  body  of  it  not  much 
damaged.  A  fine  rain  on  the  night  of  the  Fourth.  Some  more 
apples  in  these  parts  than  in  the  Jerseys. 

Monday,  July  5.  Breakfasted  at  Mr.  Shields,  where  a  committee 
from  the  church  met  and  importuned  me  to  tarry  with  them  some 
time,  or  come  again  and  make  them  a  longer  visit.  I  gave  them  hopes 
of  the  latter  after  the  four  Sabbaths  of  this  month.  Went  to  Mr. 
David  Bower's,  and  thence  to  Mr.  Moulder's  ;  then  to  hear  the  oration 


at  the  Dutch  church ;  the  performance  indifferent.  Congress  and  the 
French  Ambassador  present,  and  a  large  assembly.  Here  met  Mr. 
Merchant  and  called  at  his  lodgings.  Received  an  invitation  to  dine 
at  Prof.  Lawren's,  but  we  dined  at  Mr.  Wescott's.  Returned  to  our 
lodgings.  Were  visted  by  Messrs.  Shields,  Britain,  and  Gen.  Spencer. 
Set  out  in  the  afternoon  for  Mr.  Jones'  [Rev.  Samuel  Jones],  where 
we  arrived  in  the  evening.     The  weather  intensely  hot. 

Tuesday,  July  6.  Tarried  at  Mr.  Jones',  and  set  out  on  the  yth 
for  Bordentown. 

The  above  record  indicates  a  busy  nine  days  in  Phila- 
delphia. On  Tuesday,  the  27th,  he  again  reached  Rev, 
Samuel  Jones',  and  on  the  29th  came  into  the  city.  We 
quote  again  from  his  diary  : — 

Put  up  my  horse  at  Mr.  Shields',  called  on  some  friends,  and  took 
quarters  at  Mr.  Samuel  Davis'. 

Friday,  July  30.     Visited  some  friends  in  town. 

Saturday,  31st.  Saw  the  British  prisoners  taken  at  Stony  Point, 
march  in  ;  fine  looking  men.     Dined  at  Mr  Goforth's. 

Sunday,  August  ist.  Preached  twice.  The'congregation  pretty 
large— more  so  than  usual  here,— and  yery  attentive.  Spent  the 
evening  at  a  religious  conference,  where  there  seemed  a  degree  of 
of  quickening  and  freedom. 

August  2nd.  A  storm  of  rain  from  the  northeast,  which  contin- 
ued the  next  day  ;  heat  intense.     I  tarried  mostly  at  my  lodgings. 

August  4th.  Wrote  letters  to  Providence,  to  the  church  and 
Nicholas  Brown. 

August  5th.  The  account  of  the  defeat  of  the  British  by  the 
French  fleet  in  the  West  Indies  arrived.  Spent  the  evening  at 
Major  Goforth's,  in  company  with  several  gentlemen.  Here  I  met 
Major  Somner,  ten  days  from  Providence,  who  tells  me  that  things 
are  agreeable  in  that  quarter,  which  I  was  also  informed  of  by  a 
letter  from.  General  Varnum,  received  yesterday.  G.  Brigade  is  come 
to  headquarters,  which  I  heard  by  a  line  from  Van  Horn,  at  the  same 

Friday  6th.  Delivered  my  letters  to  Mr.  Somner.  This  day  Mr. 
Edwards  called  upon  me,  and  tarried  in  town  several  days.  Saw 
General  Spencer  and  Mr.  Collins.  Abundance  of  rumors  concerning 
the  West  India  affair.     Visited  in  town  in  the  forenoon. 

Saturday  7th.  Went  with  Mr.  Edwards  to  Captain  Falkner's, 
five  miles,  and  spent  the  afternoon  agreeably. 

Sunday,  August  8th.  Preached  three  times.  The  assembly  full, 
and  the  people  so  importunate  for  another  Sabbath  that  I  concluded 
to  stay. 


Monday,  August  ^ih.  Messrs.  Jones,  Blackwell,  and  Nathaniel 
Stout  came  to  town ;  the  former  tarried  with  me  one  night. 

Tuesday,  August  loth.  Mr.  Edwards,  in  company  with  Jones 
and  myself,  set  out  for  Colonel  Miles.  Distance  thirteen  miles. 
Arrived  in  the  evening,  and  he  and  lady  next  morning,  from  town. 
He  has  a  most  elegant  seat,  gardens,  meadows,  etc.,  and  a  most  re- 
markable spring,  which  turns  three  wheels  in  one  fourth  of  a  mile 
from  its  source.  Spent  three  days  very  agreeably,  and  on  the  13th, 
set  out  for  town,  Mr.  Edwards  returning  with  Mr.  Jones.  The 
weather  extremely  hot,  and  abundance  of  rain.  The  Indian  corn 
incomparably  fine,  the  buckwheat  forward,  and  the  second  crop  of 
grass  cutting.  This  is  an  agreeable  part  of  the  country.  Preached 
this  evening. 

Saturday,  August  14th.  Visited  Major  Goforth's,  paid  my  barber; 
received  one  hundred  dollars  of  Mr.  Rogers,  as  per  order ;  called  at 
Mr.  Morris'  and  dined  at  Mr.  Ball's. 

Swiday,  August  15th.  Extremely  hot.  Preached  twice,  attended 
the  funeral  of  a  child,  and  drank  chocolate  at  Mr.  Turner's.  Richard 
Lemon  and  both  the  McKims,  from  Baltimore,  at  meeting. 

Monday,  August  i6th.  Visited  Mr.  Moulders,  and  attended  the 
meeting  of  the  church  and  society,  who  unanimously  agreed  to  get 
the  pulpit  supplied.  Chose  a  committee  of  eight,  half  from  the 
church  and  half  from  the  society,  to  raise  the  necessary  supplies  for 
that  purpose,  and  to  call  Mr.  Gano  for  one  year.  At  two  o'clock  set 
out  for  Mr.  Jones.  Preached  at  Pennepek  at  five  o'clock.  Tarried 
with  Mr.  Jones  and  Mr.  Edwards.  The  weather  intensely  hot; 
though  the  season  uncommonly  wet. 

Tuesday^  August  17th.     Set  out  for  Bordentown. 

During  the  stay  of  Rev.  James  Manning  in  this  city,  he 
aided  very  materially  in  gathering  together  the  scattered 
forces  of  the  Baptist  Church,  and  in  preparing  the  way  for 
the  regular  ministry  of  the  word  amongst  them  again.  As 
an  illustration  of  the  price  of  living  here  then,  the  church 
paid  fifty  dollars  a  week  for  his  board.  The  following  letter 
addressed  to  Rev.  Messrs.  Still  and  Miller,  will  indicate  the 
feelings  of  and  throw  some  light  upon  the  trials  through 
which  the  church  had  passed  during  those  fearful  years : — 

Sir,  we  need  not  inform  you  that  we  have  been  for  a  long  time  as 
sheep  having  no  shepherd,  and  the  consequence  has  been  that  we 
have  strayed  one  from  another.  But  your  late  visit  amongst  us 
seemed  to  cause  some  shaking  among  the  dry  bones,  and  could  you 

REV.    JOHN    GANO    CALLED.  125 

have  stayed  longer,  doubt  not  but  the  divine  flame  would  have  be- 
come more  universal.  And  we  can  with  pleasure  inform  you  that, 
during  Mr.  Manning's  stay  amongst  us,  the  church  and  congregation 
were  considerably  collected  together,  and  there  appeared  more  love 
and  unity  than  we  have  seen  for  some  time  past,  which  is  a  matter  of 
encouragement  to  us,  to  use  our  best  endeavours  to  have  the  pulpit 
supplied  in  future.  Before  Mr.  Manning  left  us  the  church  and 
congregation  were  called  together  to  consult  on  ways  and  means  for 
supplying  the  pulpit,  till  we  can  get  a  minister  to  settle  amongst  us. 
At  which  time  a  committee  was  chosen,  and  a  subscription  opened  to 
enable  the  committee  to  defray  the  expenses  of  supplies.  Therefore 
in  the  name  and  behalf  of  the  church  and  congregation  we  their  com- 
mittee earnestly  solicit  you  to  visit  us  as  soon  as  you  possibly  can, 
that  a  vacancy  may  be  prevented,  and  if  you  and  Mr.  Miller  could 
supply  us  till  the  Association,  we  believe  it  would  be  agreeable  to  all, 
and  would  willingly  flatter  ourselves,  that  you  would  have  reason  to 
say  at  the  close  that  it  was  good  for  you  that  you  came  amongst  us. 
And  as  you  minister  to  us  in  spiritual,  we  hope  our  hearts  will  be  en- 
larged so  as  to  minister  to  you  of  our  temporal  things.  We  mean  to 
provide  lodgings,  and  use  our  best  endeavors  to  make  you  comfortable 
during  your  stay  with  us.  We  hope  therefore  you  will  take  the  mat- 
ter into  your  serious  consideration,  and  that  God  may  influence  you  in 
our  favor  is  and  shall  be  the  prayer  of  your  brethren  in  the  Gospel. 

Sio-ned   5  GEORGE  Wescott, 
Philadelphia,  Aug.  25th,  1779.  ^      '  (  Samuel  Davis. 

In  1778,  an  invitation  was  extended  to  Rev.  John  Gano, 
a  brother  in  law  of  Rev.  James  Manning,  to  settle  as  their 
pastor,  but  the  condition  and  prospects  of  the  field  were  so 
uninviting  that  he  declined.  In  September,  1779,  another 
very  long  and  earnest  letter  was  written  to  him,  entreating 
him  by  every  consideration  to  come  and  settle  with  them. 
Two  copies  of  this  letter  were  sent,  one  to  his  family  in 
New  Jersey  and  the  other  to  the  army,  as  it  was  uncertain 
just  where  he  was  at  the  time.  As  to  the  straits  to  which 
the  church  was  put  about  this  time  may  be  learned  from 
the  following  Minute  dated  November  6,  1779: — 

Joseph  Watkins  is  desired  to  get  the  broken  panes  of  the  Baptist 
Church  filled  up  with  boards. 

Rev.  John  Gano  replied  at  length  to  the  call  of  the 
church,  which  he  was  compelled  to  decline.  His  letter,  con- 


sidering  all  its  contents  and  the  time  at  which  it  was  written, 

is   a  valuable  historical  document  and  throws  some  light 

upon  the  trials  then  endured  even  by  the   men  prominent 

in  the  Christian  ministry.     Mr.  Gano  was  an  able  divine,  a 

true  patriot,  a  fine  specimen   of  a  Christian   man,  and  loyal 

to  the  great  principles  of  the  Baptist  denomination.     The 

letter  was  penned  in  Philadelphia,  as  follows  : — 

I  have  received  your  call,  have  considered  its  contents,  for  and 
sympathize  with  you  and  the  cause  you  are  pained  for  the  promotion 
of  in  this  place.  I  thank  you  for  the  respect  expressed  therein,  and 
think  the  more  of  it  as  you  have  long  known  me.  Nineteen  years 
ago  I  served  this  church  steadily  for  a  season,  my  defects  and  the  ex- 
penses of  my  family  were  then  known  and  borne  with,  the  time  being 
expired,  and  your  expected  supply  coming  from  abroad,  you  had  no 
further  need  of  my  services.  Then  I  accepted  a  call  to  New  York. 
Christian  friendship  has  continued.  Yet  suffer  me  now  to  remark  with- 
out feigned  humility,  I  was  then  in  my  own  esteem  unequal  to  the 
place,  although  then  in  the  prime,  now  in  the  decline  of  life,  my  fam- 
ily then  small,  now  large  and  more  expensive  ;  the  church,  probably 
from  its  late  political  difficulties,  the  death  and  removal  of  members, 
the  heavy  taxes  of  the  times,  may  be  less  able  to  bear  the  charge  of  a 
family  like  mine,  who  having  been  long  unsettled,  and  flying  from  place 
to  place,  which,  with  losses  and  expenses,  without  the  advantage  of 
replacing,  are  reduced  to  an  appearance  however  neighborly  like,  in  a 
back  place,  yet  rather  reproachful  in  this  place,  to  a  church  like  this. 
Neither  is  the  sum  mentioned  in  your  call  at  the  present  exchange 
anyway  adequate  to  a  present  support,  all  which  I  could  leave  to  God, 
did  I  satisfactorily  know  his  will  and  consequently  my  duty  in  the  pre- 
sent case.  I  do  not.  I  am  obliged  to  compare  my  present  standing 
in  the  army,  the  mere  Providence  that  put  and  has  preserved  me 
there,  the  ways  and  means  of  a  former  and  a  present  support  for  ray 
family,  with  this  call  to  learn  my  duty.  And  that  you  may  be  better 
judges  with  me,  I  must  be  explicit  in  stating  the  contrast  in  my  own 
breast  as  I  in  some  measure  sensibly  feel  it  at  present.  I  have  said 
providence  put  and  has  continued  me  in  the  army  for  these  reasons — 
T  never  sought  it,  neither  did  I  expect  to  like  the  life.  Many  things  I 
have  and  must  see  and  hear  in  the  army  very  abhorrent,  but  little 
christian  conversation,  no  retirement  for  study,  discouraging  pros- 
pects for  convening  or  converting  sinners,  or  quickening  and  edifying 
God's  children,  and  having  no  disposition  to  court  the  hardships  and 
fatigues  of  campaigning,  and  had  not  the  contest  appeared  to  me 
just,  and  of  so  much  importance  to  my  country,  both  in  a  civil  and 
religious  sense,  as  to  render  me  incapable  of  refusing  any  services  or 


suffering  I  might  be  called  to  in  it,  at  the  same  time  knowing  there 
were  popular  men  of  character  in  the  ministry  that  left  the  city  ?lso, 
and  some  in  the  State  beside,  that  by  their  temporary  acceptance 
manifested  a  readiness  to  the  service,  that  on  the  whole  I  have  not 
known  but  God  meant  to  keep  me  ready  as  an  instrument  in  some 
future,  when  the  enemy  shall  leave  New  York  city,  to  assist  that  broken 
church  where  so  much  of  the  best  of  my  time  has  been  spent  (and 
leave  it  they  will,  or  come  here  again),  and  should  I  leave  the  army 
contrary  to  the  desire  of  not  only  those  of  the  first  military  characters 
in  the  State  as  also  some  eminent  in  the  civil,  I  should  probably  in  a 
late  day  fling  all  those  advantages  that  I  might  expect  from  the  state 
in  favor  of  that  church  into  a  hand  not  so  amical  to  it.  My  family 
has  somehow  been  preserved  and  supported,  neither  is  the  prospect 
at  present  less  promising  for  the  future.  We  late  last  Spring  got  on 
a  little  place,  although  much  out  of  repairs,  and  a  poor  habitation,  it 
is  fertile  in  pasturage  and  will  afford  near  twenty  tons  of  hay,  has  an 
orchard,  and  my  son,  although  an  entire  stranger  to  farming,  yet 
turned  in  to  assist  the  family,  and  with  a  little  help  they  procured  and 
raised  something  of  a  summer  crop  of  almost  every  kind,  and  has 
now  near  twenty  acres  of  wheat  in  the  ground,  which  place  I  rent 
at  sixty-seven  pounds  continental  per  year — many  disadvantages  we 
are  under  and  particularly  the  education  of  children.  This  view  of 
the  case  I  hope  will  show  you  my  difficulty  in  determining,  and  I  expect 
you  will  not  take  it  unkind  should  I  not  accept  your  invitation. 

The  call  was  repeated  over  and  over  again.  Every  effort 
was  made  to  secure  him,  but  of  no  avail.  He  felt  it  to  be 
his  duty  to  remain  as  Chaplain  in  the  army,  and  did  so 
until  the  war  closed. 

Mr.  Gano,  in  his  autobiography,  published  in  1806,  thus 
briefly  refers  to  this  event : 

I  obtained  a  furlough,  to  visit  and  tarry  some  time  with  my  family. 
While  here  I  received  a  letter  from  the  Baptist  church  in  Philadelphia, 
requesting  me  to  come  and  supply  them.  I  shewed  the  letter  to 
General  Clinton,  who  gave  me  leave  to  pay  them  a  visit  for  two  or 
three  weeks.  I  informed  the  church  that  I  was  not  discharged  from 
the  army,  neither  did  I  wish  to  engage  myself  to  any  people.  For  if, 
in  the  providence  of  God,  the  enemy  should  be  driven  from  New  York, 
I  intend  to  collect  my  scattered  church,  and  to  settle  myself  in  that 
place.     I  therefore  wished  them  to  look  for  a  supply  elsewhere. 

While  in  Philadelphia  he  was  taken  very  ill,  which 
detained  him  from  the  army  for  some  time. 


In  1775  the  church,  after  the  resignation  of  Rev.William 
Rodgers,  endeavored  to  get  Rev.  Elhanan  Winchester,  but 
without  success.  October  23,  1780,  however,  "  the  church 
made  choice  of  Mr.  Winchester  to  be  their  minister."  He 
was  born  in  BrookHne,  Mass.,  September  30,  175 1,  and 
united  with  a  church  there  about  1770.  Subsequently  his 
views  on  baptism  changed,  and  in  1771  he  was  baptized  by 
Rev.  Ebenezer  Lyon,  and  became  a  member  of  the  Baptist 
church  at  Canterbury,  Ct.  He  at  once  entered  upon  the 
work  of  the  ministry  and  preached  for  a  time  at  Rehoboth, 
Mass.,  then  in  different  parts  of  New  England  and  South 
Carolina.  He  was  zealous,  eloquent  and  a  man  of  remark- 
able memory.  Great  success  attended  his  preaching,  crowds 
assembled  to  hear  him,  and  he  was  in  demand  by  the 
churches.  These  elements  of  character  had  their  influence 
on  the  church  in  Philadelphia,  but  his  settlement  was  one 
of  the  most  unfortunate  moves  they  ever  made,  as  the 
sequel  will  show. 

Rev.  John  Gano,  in  his  letter  to  the  First  Baptist  Church, 
as  given  in  this  chapter,  speaks  of  "popular  men  of  char- 
acter in  the  ministry  that  left  the  city,  and  some  in  the 
state,"  to  enter  the  chaplaincy  of  the  country.  One  of  these 
men  certainly  merits  reference  here,  not  that  he  was  a 
Philadelphia  Baptist,  but  as  the  ancestor  of  an  honored 
family  of  our  denomination  in  this  city.  Rev.  David  Jones 
is  the  gentleman  spoken  of.  He  was  born  in  Delaware,  May 
12,  1736,  and  baptized  at  the  Welsh  Tract  Church,  May  6, 
1758.  After  a  liberal  course  of  study  he  entered  the  min- 
istry, and  was  ordained  at  Freehold,  New  Jersey,  December 
1 2th,  1766.  Previous  to  the  issuing  of  the  Declaration  of 
Independence  he  took  high  ground  in  favor  of  cutting  loose 
from  Great  Britian.  In  1776  he  became  a  chaplain  in  the 
army,  and  remained  through  all  the  war,  up  to  the  surrender 
at  Yorktown,  performing  very  important   services  for  his 


country.  He  was  a  man  of  warm  friendship,  ardent  pa- 
triotism and  sincere  piety,  and,  after  much  faithful  work  for 
his  Lord  and  Master,  he  died  February  5th,  1824,  in  the 
84th  year  of  his  age.  He  was  buried  in  the  graveyard  of 
the  Great  Valley  Baptist  Church,  near  to  the  very  spot 
where,  for  many  years,  as  a  pastor,  he  preached  the  gospel 
of  the  blessed  God. 

With  this  decade  we  conclude  the  first  century  of  the 
history  of  Philadelphia  Baptists.  The  first  hundred  years 
were  checkered  and  trying.  The  progress  was  slow,  but 
with  the  blessing  of  God  upon  the  humble  endeavors  of  his 
people  about  seven  hundred  persons  were  added  to  their 
fellowship  by  baptism,  and  from  the  little  Baptist  colony  01 
1684  the  number  had  grown,  by  1780,  notwithstanding  the 
ravages  of  war,  to  224,  having  three  well  established  and 
highly  respected  and  respectable  churches.  About  fifteen 
different  men  had  served  the  churches  in  the  ministry,  while 
others  had  been  raised  up  and  sent  forth  to  various  parts  01 
our  country.  Brown  University  had  been  founded,  and 
a  good  basis  laid  for  future  work  and  success. 


CHAPTER  XIIL— 1781-1782. 


THE  very  beginning  of  this  decade  was  clouded  with 
the  apostacy  of  Elhanan  Winchester,  pastor  of  the 
church  in  Philadelphia.  The  first  reference  to  it  in  the 
records  is  under  date  of  Monday,  March  5,  1 781,  as 
follows : — 

It  being  mentioned  in  the  church  that  Mr.  Winchester  held  the 
doctrine  of  of  universal  restoration,  much  debating  ensued  in  conse- 
quence thereof,  when,  finding  nothing  satisfactory  could  be  done,  and 
growing  late,  the  following  protest  was  entered  down  to  be  signed  by 
those  who  meant  to  preserve  the  orthodox  faith,  viz.  :  "  Whereas  the 
doctrine  of  universal  restoration  of  bad  men  and  angels,  in  the  fullest 
extent,  has  for  a  considerable  time  privately,  and  of  late  more  publicly, 
been  introduced  among  us,  and  is  now  openly  avowed  by  some  of  the 
members,  to  the  great  disorder  and  confusion  of  our  church,  and 
wounding  the  hearts  of  many  of  our  brethren  contrary  to  our  con- 
fessio-i  of  faith,  we,  whose  names  are  underwritten,  do  in  the  most 
solemn  manner,  from  a  real  conviction  of  duty,  seriously  protest 
against  the  same  as  a  7nost  dangei'oiis  heresy  : 

William  Rogers,  Samuel  Miles,  John  McKim,  Thomas  Shields, 
Joseph  Watkins,  Benjamin  Shaw,  John  Levering,  Anthony  Levering, 
Philip  Burgen,  Isaac  Powell,  George  Ingles,  William  Moore,  John 
McCleod,  William  Harper,  David  Bowen,  Abraham  Mitchell,  Matthias 
Mavis,  Isaac  Bellangee,  James  Hunter,  Abraham  Levering,  Jacob 
Levering,  Andrew  Edge,  Jacob  Burkeloe,  Enoch  Morgan,  John  Flint- 
ham,  William  Hungary,  Ezekiel  Robins,  Richard  Riley,  Christian 
Dick,  William  Jenkins,  John  Bazelee,  Zebediah  David.  Morgan 
Edwards  signs  this  protest  against  the  doctrine  of  universal  salvation 


under  the  character  only  of  a  doctrine  that  he  does  not  believe. 
Martha  Scott,  Abigail  Aiger,  Mary  Rush,  Ann  Barnes,  Frances  G. 
Mitchell,  Elizabeth  Ellison,  Sarah  Powell,  Ann  Wilson,  Sarah  Sutton, 
Hannah  Rush,  Elizabeth  Burgen,  Ann  Faries,  Sarah  Moulder,  Mary 
Bright,  Sarah  Marsh,  Elizabeth  Bazelee,  Martha  Davis,  Elizabeth  Rees, 
Jane  Nicholson,  Mary  Siddons,  Fanny  Old,  Sarah  Connell,  Mary  Ham- 
mitt,  Ann  Maclean,  Margaret  McNilleans,  Sarah  Gardiner,  Catharine 
Rensord,  Mary  Parker,  Lydia  Shields,  Elizabeth  Ball,  Rachael  Davis, 
Sarah  Davis,  Eleanor  Kessler,  Mary  Dungan,  Mary  Holget,  Sarah 
Edge,  Hannah  Levering,  Anna  Levering,  Margaret  Wilson,  Elizabeth 
Brockis,  Sarah  Taylor,  Elizabeth  Marsh,  Elizabeth  Marot,  Martha 
Burkeloe,  Margaret  Erwin,  Rachael  Wilson,  Massey  Engles,  Elizabeth 
Winebridge,  Margaret  Conner,  Mary  Paine,  Sarah  Tricketts,  Rebecca 
Lakur,  Rachael  Test,  Martha  Coffin,  Catherine  Standland,  Sarah 
Parsons,  Hester  Davis,  Lydia  Gilbert,  Hannah  Rogers.     Total  92. 

Mr.  Winchester  was  requested  to  desist  from  supplying 
the  pulpit.  Much  trouble  ensued ;  church  meetings  were 
frequent ;  a  council  of  ministers  was  called,  but  their  advice 
was  disregarded  by  the  Winchester  party,  which  party 
broke  open  the  church  and  held  services  there.  Thus 
matters  continued  for  a  whole  year.  The  Council  of  Min- 
isters decided  that  those  who  adhered  to  the  Confession  of 
Faith  and  against  Winchester  were  the  church.  The 
matter  was  carried  to  the  Association  in  1781.  The  com- 
mittee appointed  by  that  body  to  consider  the  subject 
reported  as  follows  : — 

First.  That  the  proceedings  of  the  protesters  in  that  business  were 
regular  and  fair.  Secondly.  That  the  declaration  of  the  ministers 
who  were  called  to  their  assistance  lespecting  the  protestors,  was 
weighty,  full  and  decisive.  Thirdly,  That,  although  the  non-signers 
are  virtually  excluded,  yet,  in  order  to  their  more  formal  excommuni- 
cation, the  Philadelphia  Church  be  advised  to  appoint  at  their  meet- 
ing of  business  two  of  their  regular  male  members  to  go  with  the 
protest  to  the  non-protestors,  one  by  one,  in  order  to  their  signing  it, 
and  warn  them  that  in  case  they  refuse  to  sign,  should  openly  and 
formally,  by  name,  be  excommunicated. 

Samuel  Jones,      ) 

Oliver  Hart,        !   ^         ... 

ABEL  MORGAN,        \  Committee. 

James  Manning,  j 


The  Association,  ''Resolved  unanimously,  That  the 
above  report  of  the  committee  is  approved ;  and  that  this 
Association  advise  all  the  churches  to  beware  of  Elhanan 
Winchester,  and  not  admit  him,  or  any  who  advocate 
'universal  salvation,'  to  the  offices  of  public  teaching,  or 
suffer  any  who  avow  the  same  to  continue  in  their  com- 

Winchester  and  his  party  sought  to  get  possession  of 

the  property  by  lawsuit,  which  added  to  the  trouble  and 

expense.     In  this  he  failed,  for  on  July  9,  1784,  after  a  two 

days'  trial,  the  jury  decided  against  him.     All  attempts  at 

reconciliation  were  useless,  and  the  church   in  December 

excommunicated,  publicly,   forty-six   persons  for  adhering 

to  the  doctrine  of  Universalism.  Some  of  these  subsequently 

saw  their  error,  sought  restoration  to  the  fellowship  of  the 

church,  and  maintained  until  death  fealty  to  the  doctrines 

and  ordinances  of  the  New  Testament.       About  fifty  pages 

of  the  church  records  are  taken  up  with  the  proceedings 

relative  to  this  case,  but  it  is  unnecessary  to  quote  from  them, 

as  we  have  given  the  main  facts.       By  the  authority  of  the 

church  a  pamphlet  of  sixteen  pages  was  published,  entitled, 

"  An  Address  from  the  Baptist  Church  in  Philadelphia  to 

their  sister  Churches  of  the  same  denomination  throughout 

the  Confederate  States  of  North  America.     Drawn  up  by  a 

Committee  of  the  Church,  appointed  for  said  purpose."     It 

was  printed  in  this  city,  in  1 781,  by  Robert  Aitken.     This 

little  book  rehearses  the  troubles  with  Winchester,  but  it  is 

not  necessary  to  quote  from  it  further  than  to  say  that  he 

came  to  Philadelphia  in  October  1780,    "  as  a  messenger 

from  the  Warren  Association  to  ours,  which  was  nigh  at 

hand.       Many   of   the  members  having,  previous  to  this 

repeatedly  heard  him  preach,  not  the  least  suspicion  existed 

but  that  he  continued  an  advocate  for  that  faith  which  we 

look  upon  as  \.\iQ  faith  once  delivered  to  the  sai?its.'"     After 

Winchester's  death.  133 

his  exclusion  from  the  Baptist  denomination  he  continued 
to  preach  for  some  years  in  Philadelphia  to  his  adherents. 
In  1787  he  went  to  London.  His  death  occurred  April 
18,  1797,  when  he  was  forty-six  years  of  age. 

Early  1782,  a  lot  was  purchased  by  the  First  Church, 
on  the  Schuylkill  river,  at  the  end  of  Spruce  Street,  to  afford 
facilities  for  baptism  to  be  administered.  For  many  years 
the  place  was  known  as  '*  The  Baptisterion."  Morgan  Ed- 
wards thus  describes  it  as  he  saw  it  shortly  after  his  arrival 
in  this  country : — 

Around  said  spot  are  large  oaks  affording  fine  shade — underfoot 
is  a  green,  variegated  with  wild  flowers  and  aromatic  herbs,  and  a  taste- 
ful house  is  near  for  and  undressing  the  candidates. 

Watson  in  his  "  Annals  of  Philadelphia,"  says  : — 

In  the  midst  of  the  spot  was  a  large  stone,  upon  the  dry  ground, 
and  elevated  above  it  about  three  feet,  made  level  on  the  top  by  art, 
with  hewn  steps  to  ascend  to  it.  Around  this  rock  the  candidates 
knelt  to  pray,  and  upon  it  the  preacher  stood  to  preach  to  the  people. 
I  have  learned  that  the  property  there  belonged  to  Mr.  Marsh,  a 
Baptist,  and  that  the  British  army  cut  down  the  trees  for  fuel.  The 
whole  place  is  now  all  wharfed  out  for  the  coal  trade.  The  "  Stone  of 
Witness  "  is  buried  in  the  wharf,   never  to  be  seen  more. 

The  spot  remained  bare  of  trees  after  they  had  been  de- 
stroyed by  the  British  army,  in  the  Revolution,  for  nearly  a 
a  quarter  of  a  century.  In  a  letter  written  August  3rd, 
1784,  to  Rev.  John  Ryland,  of  London,  by  Rev.  James 
Manning,  he  thus  referred  to  the  Winchester  trouble : — 

The  apostacy  of  Mr.  Winchester  has  been  for  a  lamentation 
amongst  us.  Self-exaltation  was  the  rock  on  which  he  split.  Though 
he  had  from  the  first  been  remarkable  for  instability  of  character, 
he  inflicted  a  grievous  wound  on  the  cause,  especially  in  Philadelphia, 
but  I  think  he  is  now  at  the  end  of  his  tether.  His  interest  is  declin- 
ing, which  will  most  probably  prove  a  dead  wound.  I  saw  him  last 
May,  and  from  his  appearance  think  he  has  nearly  run  his  race.  His 
state  of  health  will  not  admit  of  his  preaching,  and  by  a  letter  last 
week  from  the  Rev.  Thomas  Ustick,  who  now  supplies  the  pulpit  in 
Philadelphia,  I  learn  that  Winchester  and  his  friends  have  lost  the 
case   in   their  suit  for  the  meeting-house  and  the   property  of  the 


church.  It  really  appeared  that  God  owned  his  labors  in  the  re- 
vival in  New  England;  perhaps  for  attempting  to  take  the  glory  to 
himself,  he  has  laid  him  aside  as  an  improper  instrument  for  his  work, 
who  justly  challenges  the  whole  of  it  as  his  own.  From  common 
fame,  and  from  what  I  myself  saw,  I  really  think  this  to  be  the  case. 

Amidst  all  the  excitement  incident  to  this  case  th^e 
was  still  the  deepest  solicitude  felt  for  the  successful  issues 
of  the  war.  This  anxiety  was  duly  rewarded  on  October 
19th,  1 78 1,  when  Cornwallis  surrendered  the  posts  at  York- 
town  and  Gloucester  into  the  hands  of  Washington.  This 
was  in  reality  the  final  blow  to  the  British  power  in  this 
country.  A  messenger,  with  a  despatch  from  Gen.  Washing- 
ton, reached  Philadelphia  on  Tuesday  the  23rd,  at  midnight, 
bearing  the  news  of  the  surrender.  Before  the  dawn  of 
Wednesday  the  exulting  people  filled  the  streets,  and  at  an 
early  hour  the  cheering  letter  was  read  to  Congress,  and 
that  body  thereupon  went  in  procession  to  church,  and 
there  joined  in  devout  thanksgiving  to  God  for  the  great 
victory.  The  Philadelphia  Baptist  Association  was  then  in 
session ;  and  while  it  had  been  saddened  by  the  defection 
of  Elhanan  Winchester,  whose  troubles  were  considered  the 
very  day  there  was  so  much  exultation  over  the  news  from 
Yorktown,  it  was  made  joyous  beyond  expression  by  the 
victory  which  had  been  achieved,  under  God,  by  the  Ameri- 
can arms.  No  wonder,  therefore,  that  on  Thursday  the 
Association  "  Met  at  Simrise''  The  conclusion  of  the  ses- 
sion is  thus  recorded  in  the  Minutes  : — 

And  now,  dear  brethren,  having  come  to  a  close  of  our  annual 
meeting,  before  we  address  you  by  our  circular  letter,  we  feel  our- 
selves constrained  to  acknowledge  the  great  goodness  of  God  towards 
us,  and  to  call  on  you  to  join  with  us  in  thankfulness  and  praise,  as 
well  for  the  unanimity  and  brotherly  love  which  prevailed  throughout 
our  meeting,  as  for  the  recent  signal  success  granted  to  the  American 
arms,  in  the  surrender  of  the  whole  British  army,  under  the  command 
of  Lord  Cornwallis,  with  the  effusion  of  so  little  blood. 

After  an  omission  of  four   years  the  statistics  of  the 


churches  are  again  given  this  year,  showing  a  membership 
at  Pennypack  of  fifty-eight  and  at  Philadelphia  of  eighty- 
six.  There  was  no  intelligence  from  Montgomery,  whose 
membership  was  about  eighty.  In  all  the  dark  days  of  the 
past  six  years,  the  churches  had  suffered  fearfully,  and  the 
one  in  Philadelphia  had  her  share.  It  was  indeed  very  try- 
ing that,  after  the  sorrows  and  sacrifices  of  the  war,  this 
body  should  be  torn,  as  it  was,  by  the  enunciation  of  false 
doctrine  on  the  part  of  a  trusted  leader.  Yet,  like  gold 
tried  in  the  fire,  she  came  out  of  the  ordeal  purified  and 
prepared  to  begin  afresh  for  God  and  truth. 

A  committee  was  appointed  by  the  church  May  7th, 

1781,  consisting  of  five  persons  "to  prepare  a  petition  to 
lay  before  the  General  Assembly  of  this  State,  setting  forth 
our  present  and  much  injured  situation,  by  Elhanan  Win- 
chester and  his  adherents,  and  pray  them  to  take  our  case 
immediately  into  their  consideration  and  yield  us  the  neces- 
sary redress  by  putting  us  in  quiet  possession  of  our  meet- 
ing-house and  all  the  proprety  appertaining  to  the  Baptist 
Church  in  this  city — and  also  that  they  will  incorporate  us  as 
a  Chtifchy 

In  October,  178 1,  the  church  tried  hard  to  induce  Presi- 
dent Manning,  of  Brown  University,  who  had  come  on  to 
attend  the  Philadelphia  Association,  to  settle  with  them, 
but  he  declined,  thanking  them  very  kindly  for  their  friendly 
opinion  of  him.  He,  however,  recommended  Thomas 
Ustick  as  a  person  every  way  qualified  to  suit  them,  except 
"  that  he  had  a  large  and  rising  family,  and  would  expect 
that  they  should  be  provided  for."  On  the  29th  a  letter 
was  accordingly  sent  to  him,  requesting  very  urgently  a 
visit  with  a  view  to  settlement.  He  complied,  and  spent 
the  winter  with  them,  with  great  acceptance.     March  4, 

1782,  they  called  him  to  supply  them  for  one  year,  which 
he  accepted,  and  removed  with  his  family  to  Philadelphia 


in  July,  bearing  a  letter  of  commendation  for  himself  and 
wife  from  the  First  Baptist  Church  in  Providence,  R.  I., 
dated  June  i6,  1782.  His  was  a  difficult  position  to  fill, 
coming,  as  he  did,  right  after  the  trouble  with  Winchester, 
who  had  established  in  the  vicinity  another  congregation, 
where  he  preached  universal  salvation  with  considerable 
effect;  added  to  all  this  was  the  long  and  trying  war  through 
which  the  country  had  passed.  Nevertheless,  he  was 
equal  to  the  task,  and,  under  his  ministry,  the  church  began 
to  assume  her  former  prosperity.  At  the  end  of  the  first 
year  he  was  requested  to  continue  his  labors,  and  on  Janu- 
ary 5th,  1784,  with  his  wife,  was  received  into  the  fellow- 
ship of  the  church.  Mr.  Ustick  was  born  in  the  city  of 
New  York,  August  30,  1735.  At  the  the  age  of  thirteen,  in 
his  native  city,  he  was  baptized  on  the  profession  of  his 
faith,  by  Rev.  John  Gano.  Mr.  Gano,  ever  apt  on  such 
occasions,  in  giving  out  the  hymn  to  be  sung,  so  changed  it 
that  it  read, 

"His  honor  is  engaged  to  save 

The  youngest  of  his  sheep." 

In  the  simplicity  of  his  childlike  nature,  young  Ustick, 
as  he  walked  down  into  the  water  with  his  pastor,  asked, 
''  Why  did  you  not  read  the  word  as  it  is,  ''  the  meanest  of 
his  sheep  ;  for  so,  truly,  I  am  ?  " 

It  very  frequently  occurs  that  one  whom  the  Lord  calls 
so  early  into  His  fold,  He  subsequently  calls  to  the  work  of 
preaching  the  gospel.  It  was  so  with  Thomas  Ustick,  and 
he  began  almost  at  once  after  his  conversion  to  prosecute 
a  course  of  study  under  Rev.  James  Manning,  at  Warren 
and  Providence,  R.  I.  He  graduated  from  Brown  Univer- 
sity September  4,  1771,  at  the  age  of  nineteen  years.  At 
first  he  became  a  teacher  of  a  school,  but  continued  his 
studies  with  a  view  to  the  ministry.  In  1774  he  received 
the  degree  of  Master  of  Arts,  and  was  licensed  to  preach 


about  the  same  time.  He  was  ordained  at  Ashford,  Conn., 
in  1777;  he  removed  thence  to  Grafton,  Mass.,  in  1779, 
where  he  remained  nearly  three  years  prior  to  his  removal 
to    Philadelphia. 

Immediately  after  the  close  of  the  war  attention  was 
given  to  fostering  those  interests  which  are  vitally  con- 
nected with  all  true  growth.  Hence,  in  the  proceedings 
of  the  Association  for  1782,  is  the  following,  relative  to 
the  circulation  of  the  Bible — the  Book  which  B'aptists 
believe  to  be  the  only  rule  of  faith  and  practice : — 

A  letter  from  Mr.  Aitken,  printer,  in  this  city,  was  read,  setting 
forth  that  he  had,  with  great  pains  and  much  expense,  just  completed 
the  first  English  edition  of  the  Bible  in  America,  together  with  Watt's 
Psalms,  and  requesting  this  Association  to  make  the  undertaking  as 
universally  known  as  we  can. 

Voted,  that  this  Association,  on  the  recommendation  of  Congress, 
of  said  impression,  present  their  thanks  to  Mr.  Aitken,  for  his  faithful 
execution  of  this  laborious  and  important  undertaking,  and  most 
heartily  recommend  to  all  the  churches  with  which  we  are  connected, 
to  encourage  the  sale  therereof. 

At  the  same  session  Brown  University  again  received 
attention  and  it  was 

Voted,  That  the  Association,  from  a  representation  made  to  them 
by  the  corporation  in  the  college  in  Providence,  of  the  low  state  of  the 
funds  of  said  college,  and  the  urgent  necessity  of  them,  in  order  to 
support  suitable  instructors  therein,  and  from  an  idea  of  the  great 
importance  of  good  education,  have  taken  into  consideration,  as  the 
most  probable  method  to  accomplish  this  end,  the  recommendation  of 
a  subscription  throughout  all  the  Baptist  societies  on  this  continent, 
as  well  as  to  all  the  friends  of  literature  in  every  denomination,  on  the 
following  conditions :  — 

'•  We,  the  subscribers,  promise,  and  engage  to  pay,  the  several  sums  affixed 
to  our  names,  to  ,  to  be  by  him  paid  to  John  Brown,  Esq.,  of 

Providence,  Treasurer  of  the  corporation,  or  his  successor  in  said  office  or  order ; 
to  be  placed  at  interest,  and  the  interest  only  to  be  applied  to  the  above  purpose." 

N.  B. — The  several  churches  are  desired  to  insert  in  the  above 
blank  the  name  of  the  most  suitable  person  in  the  society  for  this 

In  the  minutes  of  this  year  there  is  the  first  reference  to 


what  is  known  as   '*  The  Honeywell  School  Fund."      It  is 
as  follows : — 

As  we  have  information  that  a  legacy  has  been  left  to  this  Asso- 
ciation, in  the  last  will  and  testament  of  John  Honeywell,  of  Knowl- 
ton,  in  Sussex  County,  New  Jersey,  deceased, 

Resolved  J  That  our  Treasurer,  Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  who  is  also  in 
said  will  constituted  a  trustee  of  the  same,  proceed  immediately, 
and  make  use  of  all  due  and  necessary  measures  to  recover  said  legacy 
for  and  in  our  behalf,  and  at  our  expense. 

An  outline  sketch  of  the  object  and  history  of  this  legacy 
will  here  be  in  place.  It  is  from  the  pen  of  Horatio  Gates 
Jones,  Esq. : — 

John  Honeywell,  the  founder  of  this  school  fund,  was  a  resident 
of  Knowlton  township,  Sussex  county,  N.  J.,  and  died  there  about 
the  year  1780.  Mr.  Honeywell  was  once  a  Baptist,  but,  through 
some  cause  not  now  remembered,  he  was  excluded  from  the  church. 
His  will  is  dated  May  nth,  1779,  and  is  recorded  in  New  Jersey. 

After  providing  for  the  support  of  his  wife,  Rebecca  Honeywell, 
and  giving  several  small  legacies  to  his  relatives,  he  directed  the  whole 
of  his  real  estate  to  be  sold,  the  proceeds  to  be  invested  and  the 
annual  income  to  be  used  for  the  establishment  and  support  of  a 
school  or  schools,  to  *'be  kept  at  the  cross-roads  leading  from  the 
Moravian  Mills  to  Delaware  river,  near  Peter  Wolf's,  in  Knowlton 
township,  or  near  the  northeast  corner  of  my  land  where  I  now  live." 
He  then  adds,  ''my  desire  is  that  the  master  that  is  to  receive  his 
pay  out  of  my  estate  may  be  a  man  of  civil  conduct  and  able  to  teach 
the  boys  and  youth  to  read,  write,  cipher  and  so  forth ;  and  the 
mistress,  likewise,  to  be  of  chaste  behaviour;  able,  also,  to  teach  the 
small  girls  to  read,  and  the  bigger  to  knit  and  sew  and  the  like,  so  as 
to  be  a  help  to  owners  and  children." 


CHAPTER  XIV.— 1783-1790. 


IN  the  Minutes  of  the  Philadelphia  Association  for  1783, 
we  have  the  first  recorded  departure,  in  this  vicinity 
from  the  ancient  custom  of  laying  on  of  hands  on  baptized 

In  answer  to  the  query  from  Newton  Church  :  Whether  laying  on 
of  hands  be  an  ordinance  of  the  Gospel  to  be  administered  to  all  bap- 
tized persons,  or  only  in  particular  cases,  we  observe,  that  imposition 
of  hands  on  baptized  persons  has  been  the  general  practice  of  the 
churches  in  union  with  this  Association,  and  is  still  used  by  most  of 
them ;  but  it  was  never  considered  by  the  Association  as  a  bar  of 

Resolved,  That  any  person  scrupling  to  submit  thereto,  may  be 
admitted  to  the  fellowship  of  the  church  without  it. 

In  view  of  events  which  have  since  occurred  in  other 
localties,  the  following  procedure  of  the  Association  in 
1784,  may  be  of  interest.  "  In  answer  to  a  query  from  one 
of  our  churches :  What  measure  ought  to  be  taken  with  a 
sister  church  who  holds  and  actually  admits  unbaptized  per- 
sons to  the  Lord's  supper?  We  observe,  that  such  a 
church  may  and  ought  in  the  first  instance,  to  be  written  to 
by  a  sister  church,  exhorting  them  to  desist  from  such  a 
practice,  and  to  keep  the  ordinances  as  they  were  delivered 
to  them  in  the  word  of  God." 


In  1784,  Montgomery  County  was  formed  out  of  a 
part  of  Philadelphia,  so  that  the  history  of  the  church  of 
that  name  no  longer  legitimately  belongs  to  this  work. 

The  interest  which  President  Manning,  of  Brown  Uni- 
versity, ever  manifested  in  Philadelphia  Baptists,  and  the  re- 
spect they  entertained  for  him  is  worthy  of  note.  He  was 
frequently  here,  and  at  the  Philadelphia  Association.  Dur- 
ing the  five  years,  1785-90,  preceding  his  death,  he  at- 
tended every  session.  Three  ,  times  he  preached  at  the 
annual  meetings  of  this  body,  twice  he  was  elected  Mod- 
erator, and  once  was  its  Clerk.  In  addition  to  these  honors, 
the  University  of  Pennsylvania  at  its  annual  commencement 
in  1785,  conferred  upon  him  the  degree  of  Doctor  of  Di- 
vinity. He  was  the  first,  and  for  three  years  after,  the  only 
Baptist  Minister  in  America  who  received  this  degree.  The 
title  is  now  more  common,  but  never  was  it  more  worthily 
conferred  than  in  this  case. 

In  1785,  the  church  in  Philadelphia  numbered  one  hun- 
dred and  eleven  members.  Some  of  these  lived  at  con- 
siderable distances  from  the  meeting-house,  in  the  sur- 
rounding villages.  The  situation  of  these  led  this  church  to 
propound  to  the  Association  the  following  query  :  "  Whether 
any  of  our  ministering  brethren  can,  consistently  with  New 
Testament  order  and  our  adopted  discipline,  administer  the 
Lord's  Supper,  among  any  of  our  brethren  and  sisters,  how- 
ever numerous  they  may  be  in  any  one  place,  during  the 
period  of  their  remaining  unorganized,  or  unconstituted  as 
a  distinct  regular  church  by  themselves  ?  "  This  was  an- 
swered, the  next  year,  as  follows  : — 

First,  that  the  Lord's  Supper  ought  not  to  be  administered  to  per- 
sons who  are  not  members  of  any  church,  though  baptized.  Second, 
that  this  ordinance  should  not  be  administered  to  members  of  churches 
in  a  scattered  situation,  without  the  consent  of  one  of  those  churches  ; 
but  permission  being  first  obtained,  they  may  proceed. 


Soon  after  the  conclusion  of  the  war  with  Great  Britain, 
the  Pennypack  Church  took  steps  towards  becoming  a 
chartered  body,  and,  on  March  9th,  1786,  they  approved  a 
bill  of  incorporation,  and  were  regularly  incorporated 
March  28th,  1787.  Under  this  act  the  pastor  of  the  church 
was  always  a  Trustee  and  the  President  of  the  Board,  by 
virtue  of  his  office.  This  relationship  did  not  work  well, 
and  was  therefore  repealed  April  12th,  1845.  The  cor- 
porate title  now  reads,  "  Trustees  of  the  Baptist  Church  and 
Congregation  in  Lower  Dublin  township,  in  the  county  of 

The  spirit  of  loyal  adhesion  to  the  interests  of  the  colo- 
nies was  unwaveringly  maintained  by  the  Baptist  Churches 
of  this  vicinity.  They  were  ever  found  on  the  side  of  Civil 
and  Religous  Liberty,  and  in  defence  of  these  inalienable 
rights,  were  ever  ready  to  take  a  decided  stand.  Individuals 
might  rebel  against  this  position,  but,  without  faltering,  the 
churches  even  made  the  matter  a  subject  for  disciplinary 
action.  Thus  in  the  church  at  Lower  Dublin,  on  the  15th 
of  March,  1787,  John  Holmes  reported  that  Joseph  Inglish 
said  he  had  not  freedom  to  commune  with  a  church  that 
held  with  even  defensive  war,  and  asked  the  question 
whether  he  ought  to  be  excluded  ?  It  was  agreed  to  refer 
the  matter  to  the  Association,  which  was  done  at  the  next 
session  in  the  following  general  yet  practical  query: 
"  Whether  a  person  declining  communion  with  the  church, 
be  it  for  what  cause  it  may,  ought  to  be  excluded,  while 
his  moral  and  religous  character  in  other  respects  is  unex- 
ceptionable !  "  This  was  answered  in  the  affirmative.  The 
annual  meeting  of  the  Association  to  which  this  last  query 
was  presented  was  held  in  New  York,  and  in  view  of  mod- 
ern facilities  for  travel  between  this  and  that  city,  the  fol- 
lowing resolution  on  the  Minutes  of  the  Church  in  Phila- 
delphia, relative  to  that  meeting,  is  not  without  interest. 


**  Agreed  that  William  Rogers  be  our  Messenger  to  the 
Association,  and  that  he  set  off  in  the  land  stage  on  Mon- 
day morning  next." 

This  church,  though  existing  as  a  branch  and  an  inde- 
pendent body  for  ninety  years,  and  having  received  several 
legacies,  yet  remained  unincorporated.  May  1 2th,  1788, 
it  was  determined  to  consider  at  the  next  business  meeting, 
*'  the  good  or  bad  effects  of  being  incorporated,"  but,  on 
July  7th,  it  was  decided  not  to  get  an  act  of  incorporation. 
The  Philadelphia  Baptist  Association  was  among  the  first 
religous  bodies  in  America  which  took  a  decided  stand  on 
the  temperance  question.  The  following  action  was  taken 
in  1788:— 

The  Association,  taking  into  consideration  the  ruinous  effects  of 
the  great  abuse  of  distilled  liquors  throughout  this  country,  take  this 
opportunity  of  expressing  our  hearty  concurrence  with  our  brethren 
of  several  other  religious  denominations,  in  discountenancing  in  fu- 
ture, and  earnestly  entreat  our  brethren  and  friends  to  use  all  their 
influence  to  that  end,  both  in  their  own  families  and  neighborhood, 
except  when  used  as  a  medicine. 

Shortly  after  the  passage  of  the  above,  the  church  on 
Second  Street  "  concurred  with  the  Association  in  discour- 
aging all  abuse  of  distilled  and  other  liquors,  and  every 
kind  of  excess  in  eating  and  drinking,  and  do  desire  the 
brethren  to  consider  the  importance  and  benefit  of  moder- 
ation in  the  use  of  all  creature  enjoyments,  remembering 
the  advice  of  the  Apostle  to  Timothy,  and  to  the  churches 
on  this  subject."  At  the  same  session  of  the  Association 
a  movement  was  inaugurated  towards  the  preparation  of  a 
Baptist  Hymn  Book.     The  Minutes  state : — 

Our  brethren  Samuel  Jones,  David  Jones,  and  Burgiss  Allison, 
are  appointed  a  committee  to  prepare  a  collection  of  Psalms  and 
Hymns  for  the  use  of  the  Associated  churches,  and  the  churches  of 
this  and  of  our  sister  Associations  are  requested  to  conclude  how 
many  of  said  collection  they  will  take,  sending  information  to  Brother 
Ustick,  with  all  convenient  despatch. 

A    BAPTIST    HYMN    BOOK.  143 

This  book  was  published  and  went  through  several  edi- 
tions. It  contained  nearly  four  hundred  hymns,  and  was 
in  general  use  among  the  churches.  We  may  here  remark, 
relative  to  Samuel  Jones,  chairman  of  the  above  committee, 
and  pastor  of  the  church  at  Pennypack,  that,  at  the  annual 
commencement  of  the  University  of  Pennsylvania,  held  the 
same  year,  1788,  the  degree  of  Doctor  of  Divinity  was  con- 
ferred upon  him. 

Owing  to  the  fearful  persecutions  to  which  Baptists  had 
been  exposed  in  the  old  world,  they  had  become  accustomed 
to  meet  as  quietly  as  possible,  so  their  meeting  place  should 
not  be  detected.  Hence  they  came  to  avoid  singing  alto- 
gether as  a  part  of  their  worship.  In  coming  to  this  coun- 
try, therefore,  many  continued  to  adhere  to  this  avoidance 
of  singing.  With  the  progress  of  years  a  change  was  grad- 
ually introduced,  and  in  the  multiplicity  of  tunes  in  the 
latter  part  of  the  nineteenth  century,  it  is  interesting  to 
know  what  "  Psalm  tunes  "  the  church  in  Philadelphia  au- 
thorized "to  be  sung  in  public  worship,"  March  2nd,  1789. 
There  were  thirty-one  in  all,  and  are  as  follows : — 

Co?nmon  Metre.  Isle  of  Wight,  Brunswick,  Coleshill,  Mear, 
Bangor,  Rochester  or  St.  Michael,  St.  Humphrey,  St.  Martin's,  Ninety- 
eighth,  Fifth,  Thirty-fourth,  Suffield,  Virginia. 

Long  Metre.  One  hundred-thirty-sixth,  Old  Hundred,  Wells, 
New-hundred,  Green's-hundred,  Brookfield,  Wellington,  Morning 
Hymn,  Angel  Hymn,  Bath,  Savannah. 

Short  Metre.  Little  Marlboro,  New  Eagle  Street,  St.  Thomas, 
Worksworth  or  Ailsborough,  Orange. 

Peculiar  Metre.     Lennox,  Amherst. 

The  same  month  that  the  church  decided  to  use  the 
above  tunes.  Rev.  William  Rogers,  their  former  highly 
esteemed  pastor,  was  appointed  Professor  of  English  and 
Oratory,  in  the  College  and  Academy  of  Philadelphia.  By 
this  institution,  in  July,  1790,  he  was  honored  with  the  de- 
gree of  Doctor  of  Divinity.  He  continued  to  fill  the  posi- 
tion  to    which   he   was  elected,  with  marked   ability  for 


twenty-three  years;  during  which  time  he  frequently 
preached  the  gospel  in  different  places,  and  took  a  promi- 
nent part  in  the  proceedings  of  the  denomination,  as  well 
as  of  the  church  he  had  served  in  the  ministry.  The  furni- 
ture, as  well  as  the  meeting-house,  of  this  church,  was  ex- 
ceedingly plain,  and  a  record  like  the  following,  in  the 
minutes  of  October  5th,  1789,  would  seem  very  strange 
in  its  application  now : — 

Brother  McLeod  presents  the  church  with  a  settee  to  be  placed 
under  the  pulpit,  and  Brother  Ustick  is  requested  to  return  the 
church's  thanks  to  Brother  McLeod  for  so  handsome  an  accommo- 

Some  of  the  earliest  settlers  and  largest  landholders  in 
the  township  of  Roxborough  and  county  of  Philadelphia 
were  Baptists,  and  the  first  attempt  to  maintain  religious 
worship  in  the  neighborhood  was  by  them.  Their  numbers 
so  increased  and  the  distance  at  which  they  resided  from 
the  church  on  Second  street  was  so  great  that  measures 
were  taken,  in  the  summer  of  1789,  towards  constituting  a 
separate  church  ;  accordingly,  in  the  minutes  of  the  parent 
body,  for  August  3d,  we  find  the  following  : — 

A  request  from  our  brethren  and  sisters  at  Roxborough  for 
a  dismission,  in  order  that  they  may  be  constituted  a  church, 
being  delivered  to  this  church  the  12th  of  July  last,  and  the  church 
agreed  that  they  be  dismissed.  Bro.  Ustick  was  requested  to  prepare 
the  letter. 

On  Sunday,  August  23,  1789,  in  a  log  school  house, 
situated  on  the  Ridge,  below  Monastery  avenue,  thirty-two 
persons  were  constituted  as  "  the  church  of  Jesus  Christ, 
on  the  Ridge  Road,  Roxborough  township."  Rev.  Samuel 
Jones,  D.  D.,  of  Lower  Dublin,  Rev.  Thomas  Ustick,  of 
Philadelphia,  Rev.  Thomas  Ainger,  of  Wilmington,  Rev. 
James  McLaughlin  of  Hilltown,  were  present  and  partici- 
pated in  the  public  services.     The  names  of  the  constituent 



BUILT  1790.     REBUILT  1831.    ENLARGED  1845.     TORN  DOWN  1868. 


members,  all  of  whom  had  been  connected  with  the  First 
Church,  were  as  follows: — 

Abraham  Levering,  Anna  Levering,  John  Levering,  Hannah 
Levering,  Anthony  Levering,  Mary  Levering,  Nathan  Levering,  Sarah 
Levering,  Samuel  Levering,  Rebecca  Levering,  Sarah  Levering, 
Catherine  Standland,  John  Righter,  CorneHus  Holgate,  Mary  Holgate, 
Hannah  Coulston,  Sarah  Mathias,  John  Howell,  EHzabeth  Howell, 
George  Sinn,  Margaret  Sinn,  Doritha  Sinn,  William  Holgate,  Mary 
Holgate,  Wigard  Jacoby,  Michael  Conrad,  Jane  Conrad,  Charles 
Nice,  Elizabeth  Yerkes,  Sarah  Gorgas,  Sarah  Lobb,  Mary  Stout. 

The  month  following,  September  27th,  the  first  baptism 
after  the  organization  of  the  church  occurred,  when  Rev. 
Thomas  Ainger  immersed  five  persons  in  the  Schuylkill 
river.  Mr.  Ainger  was  the  first  person  baptized  by  immer- 
sion in  Wilmington,  Del.,  and  during  the  first  year  of  the 
existence  of  the  Roxborough  Church  he  was  the  stated 
supply  of  its  pulpit.  At  the  ensuing  session  of  the  Phila- 
delphia Association  this  church  was  received  and  has  re- 
mained connected  with  said  body  ever  since.  At  that  ses- 
sion the  following  resolution,  in  view  of  more  recent  events, 
is  of  importance  : — 

Agreeably  to  a  recommendation  in  the  letter  from  the  church  at 
Baltimore,  this  Association  declare  their  high  approbation  of  the 
several  societies  formed  in  the  United  States  and  Europe,  for  the 
gradual  abolition  of  the  slavery  of  the  Africans,  and  for  guarding 
against  their  being  detained  or  sent  off  as  slaves,  after  having  obtained 
liberty ;  and  do  hereby  recommend  to  the  churches  we  represent  to 
form  similar  societies,  to  become  members  thereof,  and  exert  them- 
selves to  obtain  this  important  object. 

Shortly  after  its  constitution,  the  Roxborough  Church 
prepared  for  a  meeting-house.  A  suitable  lot  was  given  by 
Nathan  Levering,  on  which  an  edifice,  thirty  by  forty  feet, 
costing  nearly  £600,  was  erected.  It  was  dedicated  free  of 
debt,  October  24,  1790. 

REV.    CURTIS    GILBERT.  147 

CHAPTER  XV.— 1791-1800. 


ON  Monday,  the  9th  day  of  January,  1791,  Curtis  Gil- 
bert was  ordained  to  the  work  of  the  Gospel  Min- 
istry, and  entered  at  once  upon  the  pastoral  care  of  the 
church  at  Roxborough.  The  sermon  was  delivered  by 
Rev.  Thomas  Ustick,  and  Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  D.  D.,  pro- 
pounded the  usual  questions  and  gave  the  charge.  He  was 
a  young  man  of  much  promise,  but  his  life  was  short,  for 
he  died  April  22nd,  1792.  He  was  buried  in  the  rear  of 
where  the  old  Meeting  House  stood.  The  marble  head- 
stone which  marks  his  grave  contains  the  following : — 

In  memory  of 
Rev.  Curtis  Gilbert. 
The  first  ordained  Minister  in  this 
Church,  who  departed  this  life, 
April  22nd,  A.  D.,  1792, 
In  yonder  house  I  spent  my  breath, 
And  now  lie  sleeping  here  in  death. 
These  lips  shall  wake  and  then  declare 
Amen  to  truths,  delivered  there. 

The  nearest  Baptist  Church  to  Chestnut  Hill,  Phila- 
delphia, was  the  one  at  Roxborough,  therefore  the  few 
Baptists  residing  in  that  vicinity  attended  said  church,  and 


occasionally  enjoyed  visits  from  the  minister  who  preached 
there.  The  first  known  record  of  a  sermon  at  Chestnut 
Hill,  by  a  Baptist  Minister  is  found  in  the  Minutes  of  the 
Roxborough  Church.  At  the  business  meeting  held  on  Sat- 
urday, April  23rd,  1791,  Rev.  Thomas  Ainger  was  present, 
and  "  it  was  requested  that  he  would  preach  at  Chestnut 
Hill  to-morrow."  He  complied  with  this  request.  This 
good  man  was  for  many  years  pastor  of  the  First  Baptist 
Church,  Wilmington,  Del.,  and  at  the  side  of  its  ancient 
meeting-house  his  remains  repose,  he  having  died  in  that 
city  of  yellow  fever.  The  inscription  on  the  marble  slab 
which  covers  his  grave  reads  as  follows : — 

The  Rev.  Thomas  Ainger, 
who  departed  this  life,  September  20th,  1797. 

In  the  43rd  year  of  his  age. 
Come  all  ye  good  and  pious,  hither  come. 
And  drop  the  tear  of  sorrow  on  his  tomb, 
Deplore  your  loss,  Ah  !  no,  those  tears  refrain, 
For  know  your  loss  is  his  immortal  gain. 

The  Baptist  denomination  and  the  cause  of  liberal  edu- 
cation in  this  country  met  with  a  great  loss  in  1791,  in  the 
sudden  death  of  Rev.  James  Manning,  D.D.,  of  Providence, 
R.  I.  This  ocurred  on  Friday,  July  29th.  He  was  then  in 
the  fifty-third  year  of  his  age,  having  been  President  of 
Rhode  Island  College  for  twenty-seven  years.  The  news 
of  his  death  cast  a  heavy  gloom  over  the  Baptists  in  Phila- 
phia,  where  he  was  loved  and  honored  as  a  great  and  good 
man.  How  he  was  revered  here  is  attested  from  the  fact 
that  the  largest  space  allotted  in  the  Minutes  of  our  Asso- 
ciation for  the  first  hundred  years,  in  referring  to  a  deceased 
minister,  is  given  to  Dr.  Manning.  After  recording,  with 
gratitude,  "  the  goodness  and  grace  of  God  the  year  past," 
the  introduction  to  the  circular  letter  for  179 1  states  : — 

But  our  joys  abate  while  we  reflect  on  the  heavy  tidings  so  gen- 
erally mentioned  in  your  letters,  of  the  death  of  our  highly  esteemed 
and  dearly  beloved  Brother,  Dr.  Manning,  who,  engaged  in  the  dear- 


est  interests  of  religion,  of  science,  and  the  prosperity  of  his  country, 
fell  from  the  zenith  [of  his  glory  and  usefulness.  In  the  general  loss 
we  sustain  an  important  part.  No  longer  shall  we  enjoy  his  able 
counsels,  his  divine  and  persuasive  eloquence,  nor  his  personal  friend- 
ship. But  while  we  trust  he  fell  to  rise  to  higher,  to  celestial  glories 
and  joys  unspeakable,  resignation  becomes  us.  May  the  Lord  sanc- 
tify to  the  churches  and  ministers  of  Christ,  the  awful  stroke ;  enable 
us  to  feel,  and  faithfully  discharge,  the  duties  devolving  on  us,  and 
imitate  his  example. 

In  1 79 1,  Christians  in  Philadelphia  had  their  attention 
specially  turned  to  the  Sunday-school  work,  and  in  that  year 
the  "  First  Day  or  Sunday-school  Society  "  was  formed  in 
this  city.  It  was  composed  of  different  religious  denomi- 
nations. That  the  Baptist  church  took  a  deep  interest  in 
this  movement  is  evidenced  not  only  from  the  names  asso- 
ciated with  it,  but  also  because  of  the  following  incident, 
found  in  their  minutes  under  date  of  Jannary  4,  179 1. 

Bro.  Shaw  presented  a  number  of  pamphlets  entitled,  "  An  Ex- 
hortation to  the  Religious  Education  of  Children,"  the  printing  of 
which  amounted  to  one  pound  ten  shillings ;  the  church  resolved  that 
the  Clerk  draw  an  order  on  the  Treasurer  for  the  sum,  to  be  paid%ut 
of  the  afternoon's  collection. 

From  indications  in  the  minutes,  this  church  took  the 
greatest  interest  in  the  moral  and  religious  welfare  of  the 
young,  so  that  we  are  of  the  opinion  that  the  church  was 
practically  engaged  in  Sunday-school  work  much  earlier  than 
181 5,  the  date  given  as  the  time  of  the  organization  of  the 
Bible  school. 

As  early  as  November,  1792,  the  church  on  Second 
Street  appointed  a  committee  for  the  "  regulation  of  the 
youth  connected  with  the  congregation."  From  this  sprang 
in  the  latter  part  of  1795,  a  society  in  said  church,  "with 
the  laudable  view  of  educating  and  assisting  the  destitute 
orphans  that  should  become  members  of  this  society, 
either  by  their  own  act,  or  that  of  their  parents,  guardians, 
friends,  as  well  as  for  the  establishing  a  Register  of  the 
Births  and   Deaths  therein."     This  society  continued   till 


i8i2,  when  its  limits  were  enlarged,  as  we  shall  see  here- 
after. In  the  inauguration  of  other  movements  at  this  time, 
which  have  since  become  a  part  of  our  denomination's  life 
and  practice,  this  church  filled  a  conspicuous  place.  The 
origin  of  a  custom  now  universally  recognized  among 
Baptist  Churches  may  be  traced  back  to  a  query  presented 
by  this  church  to  the  Association  in  1794,  which  is  as  fol- 
lows :  "  Would  it  not  be  advisable  for  the  churches  in  this 
connection  to  make  it  their  invariable  practice  to  transmit 
a  leturn  of  the  reception  of  persons  by  letter,  to  the 
churches  by  whom  they  were  dismissed?"  This  question  was 
determined  in  the  affirmative,  and  now  as  a  general  thing 
all  letters  of  dismission  from  one  church  to  another  con- 
tain this  phrase  or  one  similar : — "  When  (he  or  she)  shall 
have  been  received  by  you,  of  which  you  will  please  notify 
us,  said  (brother  or  sister)  will  be  considered  as  dismissed 
from  us." 

While  the  church  was  so  active  in  these  directions,  it  is 
not  surprising  to  find  her  not  only  maintaining  strict  dis- 
cipline amongst  her  own  members,  but  also  endeavouring 
to  suppress  the  immoralities  of  the  theatre.  December  2, 
1793,  it  was,  "  on  motion,  resolved  unanimously,  that  there 
be  a  committee  appomted  to  confer  with  committees  from 
other  religious  societies  for  the  suppression  of  plays."  The 
committee  consisted  of  Rev.  Thomas  Ustick,  Rev.  William 
Rogers,  D.  D.,  Benjamin  Shaw,  John  McLeod,  George 
Ingels,  Heath  Norbury  and  Joseph  Keen.  These  brethren 
reported  the  next  month,  "that  they  met  with  committees 
appointed  from  the  following  societies,  viz.:  the  Scotch 
Presbyterians,  the  Third  Presbyterian  Church,  and  the 
Methodists,  who  joined  with  them  in  their  effort." 

One  name  given  in  the  above  committee  is  deserving  of 
special  mention ;  that  of  Joseph  Keen.  An  examination  of 
the  Minutes  of  the  First  Church  gives  a  remarkably  favor- 


able  impression  of  him,  as  a  man  of  marked  Christian 
character,  devoted  to  all  the  interests  of  the  church,  and  a 
worthy  sire  of  a  noble  family,  still  identified  with  the  de- 
nomination in  this  city. 

The  practice  now  prevalent  of  making  a  distinction 
between  letters  of  dismission  and  those  simply  of  recom- 
mendation, owes  its  origin  to  a  question  from  this  same 
church,  in  1795.  This  is  the  query: — "Whether  it  might 
not,  at  this  time,  considering  the  frequency  of  emigration, 
be  advisable  for  this  Association  to  insert  in  their  minutes 
a  request  to  the  trans-Atlantic  churches  that  they  would  be 
particular  in  their  letters  of  recommendation  and  dismission 
of  members,  to  specify  whether  they  intend  merely  to 
recommend  or  dismiss ;  together  with  the  principles  and 
practice  of  the  church  so  dismissing."  An  affirmative 
decision  was  given  to  this. 

How  much  these  movements  had  to  do  with  the  present 
education  and  missionary  societies  of  our  denomination 
cannot  now  be  estimated,  but  certainly  no  unimportant  part. 

We  come  now  to  record  the  death  of  Rev.  Morgan 
Edwards,  which  occurred  January  28,  1795.  Justice  has 
never  been  done  to  the  memory  of  this  remarkable  man. 
If  to  any  one  is  really  due  the  projection  and  establishment  of 
Brown  University  more  than  to  any  other,  Morgan  Edwards 
is  that  man.  As  a  denomination  we  are  indebted  to  him  for 
his  collection  of  materials  for  early  Baptist  history  in  this 
country,  which  are  now  invaluable.  Unfortunately  for  him, 
he  became  addicted  to  the  inebriating  cup,  necessitating  the 
church  to  resort  to  discipline  a  few  years  before  his  death, 
but  this  only  continued  for  about  four  years,  when  he  sought 
restoration,  which  was  cordially  granted,  and  up  to  the  day 
of  his  death  he  lived  Christ,  as  well  as  professed  Him.  To 
err  is  human,  to  forgive  is  divine.  The  greatest  have  some- 
times fallen,  but  wonderful  grace  often  saves  them,  never- 


theless.  His  efforts  in  the  Philadelphia  Association,  from 
his  first  entrance  into  it,  in  1 761,  are  manifest  in  the  improved 
state  and  value  of  the  minutes,  and  in  the  inauguration  of 
various  important  enterprises,  on  to  1794,  when  he  was 
present  for  the  last  time,  and  then  "the  business  of  the  second 
day  was  opened  with  prayer,"  say  the  minutes,  "  by  Bro. 
Morgan  Edwards."  In  the  afternoon  of  that  day  the  same 
records  state,  "  Minutes  of  this  Association,  from  the  begin- 
ning thereof  to  the  year  1793,  inclusive,  bound  together, 
were  presented  to  the  Association  by  Bro.  Morgan  Edwards. 
The  unanimous  thanks  of  the  Association  were  directed  to 
be  given  him  for  his  present." 

Agreeably  to  his  own  desire  he  was  buried  in  the  aisle 
of  the  meeting-house  on  Second  street,  where  many  of  his 
family,  and  others  also  had  been  buried.  Upon  the  removal 
of  the  dead  from  this  locality,  he  was  interred  in  the  beau- 
tiful lot  belonging  to  the  First  Baptist  Church,  in  Mount 
Moriah  Cemetery. 

Shortly  after  the  death  of  Morgan  Edwards,  William 
White  was  ordained  in  Roxborough  to  the  work  of  the 
ministry.  This  was  April  2nd.  He  was  baptized  in  Phila- 
delphia, March  5,  1787,  and  was  dismissed  to  Roxborough, 
April  8,  1 79 1,  by  which  church  he  was  licensed  September 
21,  1793.  After  his  ordination  he  became  pastor  of  the 
church  at  New  Britain,  Pa.,  where  he  remained  for  nine 

On  several  occasions  during  this  decade  the  yellow 
fever  raged  terribly  in  this  city,  so  that  the  churches  were 
materially  interfered  with,  and  the  Association  for  four 
years  met  at  a  distance  from  the  place. 

We  are  inclined  to  the  belief  that  the  health  of  Rev. 
Thomas  Ustick,  pastor  in  Second  street,  was  not  very  robust, 
as,  in  the  latter  part  of  the  last  decade,  Rev.  Dr.  Rogers  and 
others  preached  for  him  considerably,  and  he  was  partially 

A   SECOND    CHURCH.  153 

laid  aside  from  active  work.     In    1797,  also,   his  church 

tried  to  secure  other  ministers  to  preach  on  Sunday  evening. 

The  church,  however,  was  attached  to  him,  and  there  is  not 

in  the  minutes  during  all  these  years  the  first  intimation  of 

anything  but  confidence  and  affection.     While  the  yellow 

fever  raged  here,  Mr.  Ustick  was  indefatigable  in  his  efforts 

among  the  suffering.     Sprague,  in  his  Annals  of  the  Baptist 

Pulpit ^^  says  : — 

The  inhabitants  were  flying,  panic-stricken,  in  every  direction  :  one 
of  Mr.  Ustick's  friends,  a  highly  respected  gentlemen  in  Bucks  county, 
requested  him  and  his  family  to  occupy  a  house  in  the  country  which 
he  had  made  ready  for  their  use;  but,  as  his  eldest  daughter  was, 
about  that  time,  attacked  by  the  disease,  and  as  he  could  not  feel 
wilHng  to  a  separation  of  the  family  under  such  circumstances,  he 
concluded  to  remain  at  his  post  and  keep  them  with  him,  trusting 
to  God's  preserving  care  and  goodness.  During  that  time  of  peril 
and  dismay  he  devoted  himself,  without  any  regard  to  his  own  safety, 
to  the  sick  and  dying,  the  great  and  good  Dr,  Rush  being  his  com- 
panion in  labour  and  in  sorrow  ;  and  both  himself  and  his  family  were 
mercifully  spared,  though  several  of  his  children  were  violently 
attacked  by  the  disease. 

In  the  minutes  of  the  church  at  Philadelphia,  for  Feb- 
ruary 6,  1796,  is  this  record: — 

A  letter  was  presented  in  behalf  of  a  people  who  style  themselves 
the  Second  Baptist  Church,  in  Church  Alley,  requesting  the  use  of 
our  meeting-house  for  evening  preaching. 

An  answer  to  this  was  postponed  till  the  next  meeting, 
when  the  request  was  not  complied  with.  There  is  a  refer- 
ence to  this  church  again  on  the  8th  of  July.  The  origin 
and  subsequent  history  of  this  party  is  a  mystery.  It 
certainly  is  not  the  church  formerly  called  Northern  Liberty, 
constituted  October  29,  1769.  That  ceased  to  exist  during 
the  war,  as  we  learn  from  the  following  minute  of  the 
Pennypack  Church,  under  date  of  April  5,   1783  : — 

Received  Elizabeth  English,  she  being  a  member  of  the  quondam 
Second  Church  of  Philadelphia. 

*Page  167. 


The  Philadelphia  Baptist  Association  was  chartered 
January  24,  1797.  A  committee  to  atttend  to  this  business 
was  appointed  in  179 1.  The  trustees  under  this  charter 
were  to  be  the  senior  deacon  and  ministers  of  each 
church  in  the  Association.  The  first  meeting  of  this  body 
was  held  in  the  morning  of  October  5,  1797.  Rev.  Samuel 
Jones,  D.  D.,  was  elected  President,  George  Ingeles,  Trea- 
surer, and  Rev.  William  Rogers,  D.  D.,  Secretary. 

In    1797  a  resolution  was  adopted  in  the  Association, 

which  inaugurated  a  custom  that  still  prevails.     It  was  as 

follows : — 

Resolvedy  That  those  churches  which  omit  sending  a  messenger, 
or  letter,  to  this  Association  for  three  years  successively,  shall  be 
dropped  from  our  Minutes,  and  considered  as  excluded. 

In  1798,  a  law  was  passed  authorizing  churches  in  this 
city  to  place  chains  across  the  street  in  front  of  their  respec- 
tive places  of  worship,  so  as  not  to  be  interrupted  during 
the  service  of  the  Lord's  day,  by  the  noise  of  passing  ve- 
hicles. The  Baptist  Church  with  others  put  this  law  into 
practice,  as  the  following  Minute  of  May  7th,  1798,  indi- 
cates : — 

On  motion.  Resolved ;  that  our  brethren  Ingels,  Davis  and  Cox, 
be  a  committee,  to  carry  the  law  lately  passed,  to  put  chains  across 
the  streets  to  prevent  carriages  passing  in  time  of  public  worship,  into 

The  eighteenth  century  was  not  to  close  without  the  oc- 
currence of  an  event  that  cast  a  gloom  over  the  whole  United 
States.  This  was  the  death,  on  December  14th,  1799,  of 
George  Washington,  that  noble  man,  of  whom  its  has  been 
said,  "  God  left  him  childless  in  order  that  a  nation  might 
call  him  father."  The  mark  of  respect  shown  by  the  First 
Baptist  Church  to  his  memory,  by  the  draping  of  their 
meeting-house  in  deep  mourning,  tells  of  the  hold  he  had 
on  the  hearts  of  his  countrymen.  At  the  beginning  of  the 
year,  January   19th,   which  marked  the  death  of  this  great 


man,  the  Rev.  Howard  Malcom,  D.  D.,  since  so  celebrated 
in  the  missionary,  educational  and  historical  work  of 
American  Baptists,  was  born  in  this  city.  Rev.  Thomas 
Fleeson,  on  April  26th,  1800,  became  a  member  of  the 
Roxborough  Church,  and  the  stated  supply  of  its  pulpit  for 
nearly  a  quarter  of  a  century.  He  was  originally  connected 
with  the  church  in  Philadelphia,  having  been  baptized  by 
Rev.  William  Rogers,  D.D.,  in  1774.  He  was  licensed  to 
preach  January  9th,  1775. 

About  the  time  of  his  settlement  in  Roxborough,  he 
lost  his  sight,  and  was  thereafter  known  as  "the  blind 

This  city  was  now  beginning  to  grow  more  rapidly,  and 
the  idea  of  extension  began  to  take  possession  of  the  Bap- 
tists. A  movement  was  inaugurated  May  5th,  1800,  to- 
wards securing  a  lot  in  what  was  then  called  the  Northern 
Liberties,  suitable  for  a  graveyard,  and  to  erect  a  meeting- 
house upon.  The  Baptist  denomination,  however,  was  still 
a  feeble  folk,  numerically,  as  in  the  entire  city  and  county 
they  numbered  only  three  churches  with  an  aggregate 
membership  of  two-hundred  and  seventy-one. 

It  will  be  germain  here  to  note  other  movements  of  the 
church  in  consonance  with  the  aggressive  spirit  already 
indicated.  We  quote  from  the  Association  minutes  for 
1800: — 

A  query  having  been  received  from  the  church  at  Philadelphia 
on  the  subject. 

Resolved,  That  it  be  particularly  urged  on  our  churches  that,  as 
stewards  of  God,  and  influenced  by  a  strong  desire  to  spread  the 
cause  of  our  blessed  Redeemer,  they  endeavour  to  raise,  as  early  as 
possible,  and  to  maintain  a  fund  for  the  assistance  of  such  ministers 
as  may  be  called  to  destitute  churches,  or  otherwise  publish  the 
gospel  in  their  connection,  and  as  there  are  flattering  prospects  at  the 
church  at  Manahawkin,  which  has  been  recently  visited  with  much 
succcess,  they  earnestly  entreat  that  some  collections  be  immediately 
forwarded  to  Bro.  Rogers  for  the  desirable  purpose  of  affording  them 
ministerial  aid. 


Whereas,  The  church  of  Philadelphia  have  presented  a  query  on 
the  propriety  of  forming  a  plan  for  establishing  a  missionary  society, 
this  Association,  taking  the  matter  into  consideration,  think  it  would 
be  most  advisable  to  invite  the  general  committtee  of  Virginia  and 
different  Associations  on  the  continent,  to  unite  with  us  in  laying  a 
plan  for  forming  a  missionary  society  and  establishing  a  fund  for  its 
support,  and  for  employing  missionaries  among  the  natives  of  our 

NEW    ERA   OF    GROWTH.  157 

CHAPTER  XVL— 1801-1806. 


WITH  the  commencement  of  the  nineteenth  century- 
began  a  new  era  of  growth  and  progress  in  our 
denominational  history.  Measures  were  inaugurated  look- 
ing to  the  establishment  of  an  African  Baptist  Church  in 
this  city.  April  9,  1801,  the  First  Church  appointed  a  com- 
mittee to  consider  the  subject,  several  persons  of  color  being 
members  with  them.  The  committee  held  several 
meetings,  but  could  accomplish  nothing  definite.  They 
were,  therefore,  discharged.  In  accord  with  the  growing 
interest  in  Foreign  Missions,  at  the  session  of  the  Asso- 
ciation in  1 801,  Rev.  William  Rogers,  D.D.,  read  a  letter 
from  William  Carey,  of  Serampore,  relative  to  the  work  of 
grace  in  India,  and  from  Dr.  Hawes,  of  England,  respecting 
promising  appearances  among  the  Hottentots,  and  the 
Minutes  state :  "  This  Association  exult  in  every  prospect 
of  the  success  of  the  gospel,  and  wish  the  Missionaries 


God  speed."  Steps  were  also  in  progress  looking  to  the 
establishment  of  a  Missionary  Society,  to  send  the  Gospel 
to  the  destitute  parts  of  our  own  country. 

In  the  early  times  the  ordinance  of  Christian  Baptism 
seems  to  have  been  administered  on  a  week  day,  and  as  we 
have  seen,  at  the  end  of  Spruce  Street,  in  the  Schuylkill 
river.  Here  the  First  Church,  in  1803,  had  a  platform  erected 
at  the  water's  side,  so  that  the  administrator  could  preach 
to  the  assembled  multitudes  on  baptismal  occasions.  On 
this  lot,  in  the  Spring  of  1802,  were  planted  thirty-six  pop- 
lar and  weeping  willow  trees,  by  the  celebrated  Phila- 
delphia ^firm  of  D.  81  C.  Landreth,  who  engaged  that,  if 
any  of  the  trees  should  die,  they  would  replace  them.  At 
the  church  meeting,  when  the  report  about  the  trees  was 
made  April  5th,  1802,  Joseph  S.  Walter,  a  name  since  fam- 
iliar among  the  Baptists  of  this  city,  narrated  his  christian 
experience,  and  with  others,  was  baptized  the  next  day,  at 
four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon. 

During  the  year  1802,  a  very  copious  outpouring  of  the 
Holy  Spirit  was  enjoyed  in  this  vicinity,  and  numbers  who 
had  been  baptized  in  other  communities  were  taking  up 
their  homes  in  the  northern  and  southern  parts  of  this 
city,  and  thus  the  way  was,  under  the  guidance  of  Divine 
Providence,  prepared  for  the  organization  of  new  churches. 

At  the  advice  of  the  First  Church,  February  7th,  1803, 
twenty  members,  who  resided  in  the  Northern  Liberties 
asked  for  letters  of  dismission,  that  they  might  form  a 
new  Baptist  Church  in  their  own  neighborhood.  Their 
request  was  unanimously  granted.  The  courteous  appli- 
cation was  as  follows  : — 

Northern  Liberties,  Philadelphia,  February  ist,  1803. 

Dearly  Beloved  Brethren  :— Having  been,  by  the  interposition  of  a 

kind  providence,   permitted  to    assemble  together  in  society  for  the 

worship  of  God,   from  time  to  time,  in  the  Northern  Liberties,   for 

these  two  years  past,  and  some  of  us  for  six  years  upwards,  our  num- 


bers  being  small  when  we  first  met,  during  which  time  in  numerous 
instances,  the  Lord,  according  to  his  promise  has  met  with,  and 
blessed  us,  and  others  who  have  occasionally  been  with  us.  In  the 
course  of  the  past  year  we  have  been  generally  privileged  with  the  labors 
of  one  and  another  of  our  ministering  brethren  and  many  of  the  in- 
habitants in  this  neighborhood  have  been  and  now  are  disposed  to 
hear  the  Gospel,  we  trust  the  Lord  inclining  their  hearts  so  to  do, 
insomuch  that  the  place  where  we  meet  is  too  strait  for  [us.  We 
have  commended  our  cause  to  God  for  direction,  and  our  minds  are 
strongly  impressed  that  it  would  be  for  the  extension  of  the  cause  of 
Christ  to  request  from  you,  and  we  do  hereby  request  our  dismission 
in  order  to  be  constituted  into  a  separate  body,  and  to  endeavour 
through  the  blessing  of  God  to  raise  a  house  for  his  worship  in  this 
place.  Our  design  in  this,  brethren,  is  not  to  separate  from  your  fel- 
lowship and  communion,  but  wish  still  to  enjoy  that  union  which  has 
hitherto  so  happily  subsisted  between  us  and  to  continue  in  the  same 
faith  and  discipline  that  hitherto  has  been  our  guide.  And,  although 
we  feel  the  greatest  reluctance  in  leaving  the  place  where  we  have 
been  so  often  refreshed,  yet  the  glory  of  God  and  the  good  of  pre- 
cious souls  constrain  us  thus  to  lay  our  request  before  you. 

Signed,  Isaac  Johnson,  Margaret  Beaks,  Jacob  Burkellow,  Lydia 
West,  Thomas  Timings,  John  Ellis,  Kate  Burkellow,  William  McGee, 
Cornelius  Trimnel,  Ann  Hartley,  Philip  Halzell,  Sarah  Springer,  Ann 
King,  Hannah  Thomas,  Elizabeth  Collard,  Jacob  Bayer,  Mary  Tim- 
ings, Mary  Trimnel,  James  Wiley  Jr.,  Isaac  Car. 

Under  date  of  February  20th,  the  church  responded 
through  its  pastor  and  deacons  as  follows  : — 

The  Baptist  Church  of  Christ  in  the  city  of  Philadelphia,  main- 
taining the  doctrines  of  grace  contained  in  the  Confession  of  Faith 
adopted  by  the  Philadelphia  Baptist  Association,  met  at  Philadelphia, 
September  25  th,  1742,  together  with  Treatise  of  Church  Discipline 
thereunto  annexed. 

To  our  ministering  brethren  and  all  who  may  be  particularly  con- 
cerned in  accomplishing  the  wishes  of  our  brethren,  in  forming  and 
constituting  a  church  of  the  aforesaid  principles  in  the  Northern  Lib- 
erties of  Philadelphia. 

Christian  Salutation. 

Beloved,  Whereas  our  brethren  and  sisters,  [here  follows  their 
names  as  above  given]  have  applied  to  us  to  be  dismissed  in  order 
that  they  may  unite  together  and  enter  into  covenant  in  a  Gospel 
Church  State,  and  since  it  appears  that  their  social  meetings,  and  oc- 
casional administrations  of  the  Gospel  afford  considerable  prospects 
that  they  will  be  prospered  and  increased,  and  that  the  institution  will 
promote   the  declarative  glory  of  God,  the  increase  of  the  Redeemer's 


kingdom,  and  their  personal  edification ;  We  do  hereby  give  our  full 
consent  and  cordial  approbation  to  the  execution  of  said  design,  that 
they  may  be  constituted  into  a  separate  and  independent  Baptist 
Church,  holding  the  aforesaid  principles  and  practices. 

Wherefore,  when  said  constitution  is  formed,  and  the  aforesaid 
members  have  covenanted,  they  will  be  considered  as  fully  dismissed 
from  our  particular  care  and  acknowledged  in  said  capacity.  We 
have  only  to  add  that  the  aforesaid  brethren  and  sisters  are  all  in  full 
communion  and  good  standing,  and  that  they  have  our  fervent  pray- 
ers that  'the  good  will  of  him  that  dwelt  in  the  bush  may  be  with 
them ;  that  Jesus  may  see  the  travail  of  his  soul  gathered  in  amongst 
them,  that  God  may  enlarge  them  as  Japhet,  and  dwell  with  them 
as  in  the  tents  of  Shem.  Thomas  Ustick,  Pastor. 

Thomas  Shields,  George  Ingels,  ?  ^,^^^,,^. 

Joseph  Keen,  John  McLeod,        S 

This  church  was  constituted  March  5th,  1803,  with 
twenty  members,  and  was  received  into  the  Philadelphia 
Association  at  its  ensuing  session  in  October,  with  fifty 
members,  twenty-five  of  whom  had  been  baptized  since  its 
constitution.  At  the  same  session  of  the  Association  the 
First  Church  presented  the  following  query : — 

Is  it  in  order  to  have  a  Moderator  appointed  in  our  Association 
who  is  not  a  member  of  one  of  the  churches  belonging  to  it,  and  a 
delegate  at  the  same  time  to  the  Association  from  the  church  so 
belonging  ? 

Answer:  This  Association  is  not  of  opinion  that  it  is  strictly 
speaking  out  of  order  to  have  a  Moderator  appointed,  who  is  not  a 
member  of  the  churches  which  compose  this  body ;  yet  in  addition 
to  other  considerations,  his  being  unacquainted  with  the  course  of  our 
business,  and  his  inability,  by  reason  of  his  absence,  to  discharge 
some  duties  which  among  us  devolve  on  the  Moderator  in  the  interval 
of  our  meetings,  render  such  a  choice  improper. 

The  Second  Baptist  Church  met  at  first  for  worship  in 
a  Masonic  lodge-room  in  York  court.  During  the  few 
months  they  remained,  their  number  increased  rapidly  under 
the  ministrations  of  John  Ellis,  a  licentiate,  aided  by  other 
supplies.  Towards  the  latter  part  of  the  same  year,  in 
which  they  were  constituted  a  separate  church,  the  congre- 
gation had  erected  for  their  use  a  neat  brick  building,  66 
by  47  feet  on  Budd  Street,  now  called  New  Market.      A  lot 


was  also  marked  off  and  fenced  in  for  a  burial  ground  in 
the  rear  of  the  meeting-house.  This  place  of  worship  was 
dedicated  December  15th,  1803.  The  services  continued 
through  the  entire  day  and  were  conducted  by  Rev.  Drs. 
Rogers  and  Staughton,  and  by  Rev.  Thomas  B.  Montayne. 

At  the  beginning  of  this  century  the  health  of  Rev. 
Thomas  Ustick  began  to  decline.  Owing  to  the  prevalence 
of  an  epidemic  fever  in  the  city,  in  1802,  he  removed  his 
family  to  Burlington,  N.  J.  In  the  Baptist  church  of  that 
town  he  preached  his  last  sermon,  with  the  conviction  that 
he  should  never  preach  again.  His  text  was,  "  The  grace 
of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  be  with  you.  Amen."  The  night 
before  his  death  he  said  to  his  son,  "the  Lord  is  my  shield 
and  buckler,"  and  on  the  following  day,  April  18,  1803,  he 
fell  asleep  in  Jesus.  Rev.  William  Rogers,  D.  D.,  preached 
his  funeral  sermon  from  the  words,  *'Our  friend  Lazarus 
sleepeth."  On  account  of  the  illness  of  the  pastor,  Dr. 
Rogers  was  requested,  April  4th,  to  administer  baptism, 
and,  after  his  death,  to  preach  for  the  church  until  January 
I,  1804,  for  which  service  he  was  to  receive  "  eight  dollars 
a  day."  "Out  of  respect  for  their  deceased  brother  and  late 
pastor,"  the  church  draped  its  pulpit  and  communion  table 
in  mourning.  His  death  was  a  great  loss  to  the  denomina- 
tion, for  he  was  a  man  of  sterling  piety,  scrupulous  fidelity, 
respectable  talents  and  very  companionable.  He  was  in 
the  fiftieth  year  of  his  age  when  he  died,  and  the  thirty-first 
of  his  connection  with  the  Lord's  people. 

The  next  Baptist  church  constituted  in  Philadelphia  was 
that  at  Blockley,  on  Sunday,  June  3,  1804.  The  exercises 
were  held  in  a  school-house  at  the  northwest  corner  of 
Fifty-second  and  Walnut  streets.  Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  D.  D., 
Rev.  William  Rogers,  D.  D.,  and  Rev.  William  White 
participated  in  the  public  services  of  recognition.  The 
names   of  the  seventeen   constituent  members  were  Rev. 



John  Rutter,  Heath  Norbury,  Amos  Pennegar,  Cornehus 
Bagley,  William  Sheldrake,  John  Davis,  Sarah  Rutter,  Mary 
Pennegar,  Elizabeth  Pennegar,  Susannah  Norbury,  Mary 
Oliphant,  Fanny  Sheldrake,  Hannah  Pennegar,  Jerusha 
Davis,  Sarah  Bagley,  Margaret  Tyson,  Hannah  Harper. 
Rev.  John  Rutter  assumed  the  pastoral  charge  of  the  church, 
which  continued  to  worship  in  the  aforenamed  school-house 
until  the  meeting-house  was  erected.  August  25,  1804, 
Mr.  John  Suplee  gave  to  the  church  an  acre  of  ground  on 
which  to  erect  a  house  of  worship  and  for  a  grave-yard.  A 
small  one-story  building  was  at  once  erected  on  this  spot. 

October  3rd  this  church  was  received  into  the  Philadelphia 
Baptist  Association,  with  sixteen  members.  The  minutes 
of  that  body  for  1 804  state  : — 

The  church  constituted  the  past  year  at  Blockley,  in  Philadelphia 
County,  applied  for  admission  into  this  Association,  which  was  freely 
granted,  after  they  had  given  full  satisfaction  as  to  their  faith  and 

The  singing  of  the  congregation  was  usually  led,  at  this 

time,  by  a  precentor,  whose  seat  was  in  front  of  and  under 

the  pulpit.     Thus,  under  date  of  August  6,  1804,  the  First 

Baptist  Church 

Resolved,  That  the  committee  appointed  on  singing  be  authorized 
to  fix  upon  some  suitable  person,  who  is  a  member  .of  this  church, 
to  lead  in  public  singing,  in  case  of  the  absence  or  indisposition  of 
Bro.  Bradley,  and  that  he  take  his  place  under  the  pulpit. 

The  churches  then  were  very  careful  to  have  not  only 
Christians  to  lead  in  the  service  of  song,  but  also  members 
of  their  own  particular  church. 

In  the  year  1 804  Rev.  William  White  became  the  first 
pastor  of  the  Second  Baptist  Church,  and  for  thirteen  years 
filled  that  position  with  marked  ability  and  success.  During 
the  period  of  his  labors  the  following  brethren  were 
licensed  to  preach  the  gospel  by  the  church  :  Samuel  Harris, 
John  Hewson,   Richard  Proudfit,  Isaiah  Stratton,  George 




Patterson,  William  E.  Ashton  and  James  Clark ;  and  more 
than  five  hundred  persons,  upon  a  profession  of  faith  in 
Christ,  were  baptized  into  the  fellowship  of  the  church. 

Rev.  William  Staughton,  of  Burlington,  N.  J.,  on  Feb- 
ruary 4,  1805,  signified  his  acceptance  of  the  request  of  the 
church  on  Second  street  to  preach  for  them,  and,  on  the  8th 
of  the  following  April,  with  his  wife,  he  was  received  into 
their  fellowship  by  letters  of  dismission  from  the  church  at 
Burlington.     He  was  to  supply  the  pulpit   for  one  year. 
The   reason  for   this  limit   is  thus    given  in   the  letter  of 
invitation:  "Upon    due    investigation,    the   church  is,   at 
present,  under  a  few  embarassments  respecting  their  finances. 
Prudence,  therefore,  has  directed  them  to  the  procuring  of 
a  supply  for  one  year,  at  which  time  it  is  expected  they  will 
be  both  able  to  call  a  pastor  and  make  him  comfortable." 
The  Baptists,  at  this   time,   were   few,  and   the   house   of 
worship  on  Second  street  was  a  one-story  building,  only 
forty-two  feet  by  sixty.     The  congregation  was   about  the 
smallest  in  the  city,  and  the  membership  of  the  church 
only  177.     From  the  first  settlement   of  Dr.  Staughton  a 
new  era  dawned.      The  congregation  increased,  and  the 
building  was  soon  crowded  in  every  part  with  interested 


In  the  year  1805  the  church  at  Lower  Dublin  erected  a 
new  meeting-house.  The  principal  helper  in  this  movement 
was  their  pastor,  Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  D.  D.,  a  man  who,  in 
his  day,  was  a  noble  representative  of  our  denomination, 
active  in  all  that  pertained  to  culture  and  aggressive  work. 
For  some  six  years  previous  to  the  building  of  this  new 
house  there  had  been  no  special  work  of  grace,  but,  com- 
mencing with  1804,  there  was  a  large  and  continuous  ingath- 
ering of  souls,  which  cheered  alike  the  heart  of  the  venerable 
pastor  and  each  member  of  his  beloved  flock. 

At  the  end  of  the  year  1805  Mr.  Staughton  was  called 

HORATIO    GATES   JONES,  D.  D.  165 

to  the  permanent  pastorate.  Under  his  efficient  ministry 
the  meeting-house  became  too  small,  and  early  in  1808 
measures  were  taken  towards  its  enlargement  to  the  size 
as  illustrated  on  the  eighty-seventh  page  of  this  work. 
During  the  progress  of  the  improvements  the  church  used 
the  meeting-house  of  the  Second  Church  in  which  to 
administer  the  Lord's  Supper.  This  addition  to  the  edifice 
was  pushed  forward  with  great  despatch,  so  that  the  Phila- 
delphia Baptist  Association  could  occupy  it  at  their  annual 
meeting  in  October  of  that  year.  Dr.  Staughton  was  an 
indefatigable  worker.  Besides  the  daily  instruction  of  youth, 
he  preached,  for  some  time,  four  sermons  every  Lord's  Day. 
At  six  o'clock  on  Sunday  morning  he  preached  to  large 
congregations  in  the  southern  part  of  the  city,  near  the 
Swede's  Church,  under  a  large  beach  tree,  and  by  these 
missionary  efforts  prepared  the  way  for  the  establishment  of 
the  Third  Baptist  Church.  To  his  zeal  and  spirit  is  due,  in 
a  large  measure,  the  inauguration  of  many  educational  and 
missionary  enterprises  which  have  grown  to  bless  the  world. 
Philadelphia  has  ever  been  and  still  is  the  residence  of 
Baptist  ministers  who  were  not  pastors  in  the  city.  One  of 
these  was  Horatio  Gates  Jones,  D.  D.  He  removed  to 
Roxborough  in  the  year  1805  and  resided  there  until  his 
death,  which  occurred  December  12,  1853.  As  a  result  of 
his  self-sacrificing  and  persistent  labors  the  Lower  Merion 
Baptist  Church  was  founded  September  11,  1808,  and  he 
remained  its  esteemed  and  successful  pastor  up  to  the  time 
of  his  decease.  He  was  the  first  chancellor  of  the  Univer- 
sity of  Lewisburg,  a  constituent  member  of  the  Triennial 
Convention,  hereafter  to  be  spoken  of,  for  twenty-five  years 
the  President  of  the  Board  of  Trustees  of  the  Philadelphia 
Baptist  Association,  and  in  other  spheres  served  most  hon- 
orably the  varied  interests  of  the  denomination  he  loved  so 
well.  As  one  of  the  early  Baptists  of  this  city  his  memory 
will  long  be  fragrant,  and  his  influence  potential. 


The  method  of  lighting  the  churches  for  evening  service 
was  by  candles.  The  purchasing  of  the  "  dips "  by  the 
pound  became  somewhat  expensive,  so  the  First  Church, 
under  date  of  Jannary  6,  1806,  "  Resolved,  That  the  deacons 
be  requested  to  procure  candles  by  the  box  for  the  use  of 
the  meeting-house."  The  method  of  heating  the  building 
was  entirely  by  large  tin-plate  wood  stoves.  The  floors 
were  uncarpeted,  but  were  sanded  twice  each  month. 

The  first  record  of  a  blank  form  for  letters  of  dismission 
to  unite  with  other  churches  is  found  in  the  minutes  of  the 
First  Church,  under  date  of  October  6,   1806,  when  it  was 

Resolved,  That  Bro.  Staughton  be  requested  to  draw  up  a  form 
of  a  letter  of  dismission,  with  a  sufficient  number  of  blanks,  for  the 
purpose  of  being  printed,  and  present  the  same  at  a  future  meeting. 

In  the  Association  this  year  is  the  first  record  of  public 
collections  in  the  churches  for  Foreign  Missions  : — 

The  Association  recommends  that  collections  be  made  in  all  the 
churches  in  which  they  have  not  been  made,  and  repeated,  if  found 
convenient,  where  they  have  already  been  made,  for  assisting  our 
brethren  in  Serampore  in  the  translation  of  the  Scriptures  into  the 
several  languages  of  India,  and  that  the  moneys  be  transmitted  by 
our  next  Association  to  our  Bro.  Rogers,  to  be,  by  him,  deposited  in 
the  hands  of  Robert  Ralston,  Esq.,  to  whom  gratitude  is  due  for  his 
disinterested  and  obliging  attention  to  the  reception  of  moneys  and 
their  transmission  to  India. 

At'  this  same  session  of  the  Association  a  query  was 
presented  from  the  First  Church,  and  as  the  same  question 
has  been  discussed  more  recently,  it  will  not  be  out  of 
place  here : — 

What  is  the  smallest  number  of  members  necessary  for  forming  a 
gospel  church ?  Answer:  On  this  head  different  sentiments  are  en- 
tertained. Some  have  supposed  two  or  three  are  sufficient,  others 
have  imagined  five,  some  ten,  and  others  twelve,  because  it  would 
seem  that  the  church  at  Ephesus  was  formed  of  twelve  men.  Acts 
xix:  7.  TheAssociation  is  of  opinion,  however,  that  much  depends  upon 
the  probability  of  the  persons  living  permanently  together  who  may 
be  about  to  be  constituted.  It  appears  also  desirable  that  there  be  in 
a  new  settlement,  where  removals  are  frequent,  at  least  seven,  and  of 
these  two  or  three  males. 


Then,  as  since,  the  churches  were  agitated  as  to  the  val- 
idity of  baptism  administered  by  one  of  a  different  faith 
from  our  own.  It  is  evident,  however,  that  where  a  persoft 
is  thoroughly  converted  and  is  immersed  in  the  name  of  the 
Trinity  upon  a  profession  of  Faith,  the  baptism  is  valid 
without  any  regard  to  the  character  of  the  administrator. 
The  same  year  that  the  question  was  asked  as  to  how  many 
persons  were  necessary  to  form  a  Gospel  Church,  it  was 
queried : — 

Whether  can  an  orthodox  Baptist  Church  receive  a  person  who 
has  been  baptized  by  a  Tunker,  Universalist,  without  baptizing  him 
again?  The  person  has  renounced  Universalist  principles.  Answer, 

At  the  same  session,  the  Circular  letter  was  written  by 
Rev.  William  Rogers,  on  "  Christian  Missions."  It  was  thor- 
oughly permeated  with  the  true  spirit  of  the  Gospel,  and 
discussed  the  subjects  as  follows  : — 

I.  The  principles  on  which  they  proceed. 

II.  The  extent  to  which  they  have  been  carried. 

III.  The  encouragement  we  possess  for  future  exer- 
tions.    This  paper  says  : — 

The  Philadelphia  Baptist  Missionary  Society,  of  which  several  of 
us  are  members,  though  of  recent  formation,  has  not  been  left  to 
struggle  in  vain,  brother  T.  G.  Jones,  who  is  our  Missionary  in  the 
eastern  parts  of  the  State  of  Ohio,  has  already  made  a  communication 
of  agreeable  tidings.  In  order  to  baptize  believers  in  Jesus,  he  has 
led  them  into  waters  where  this  holy  ordinance  was  never  admin- 
istered before,  and  on  a  late  tour  he  constituted  a  new  Baptist  Church 
near  the  town  of  Lisbon.  Numbers  listened  eagerly  to  the  preaching 
of  the  cross,  and  in  the  work  his  heart  appears  to  be  much  enlarged. 

Rev.  John  Rutter  continued  in  the  pastorate  of  the 
Blockley  Church  until  September,  1806,  during  which  time 
he  baptized  sixteen  persons  and  the  church  grew  to  a  mem- 
bership of  thirty-three.  On  account  of  immoralities  the 
church  excommunicated  him ;  after  which  he  persisted  in 
regarding  himself  a  minister,  just  as  though  a  membership 


in  some  church  was  not  essential  to  any  standing  in  the 
Christian  Ministry.  In  1807  the  Association  pubhshed  the 
•following : — 

The  churches  in  our  connection  are  notified  that  John  Rutter,  late 
pastor  of  Blockley  Church  has  been  excommunicated ;  they  will  there- 
fore not  countenance  him  as  a  preacher. 

The  following  query  from  this  church  was  also  pro- 
pounded to  the  Association,  relative  to  him  : — "  Is  it  con- 
sistent for  an  excommunicated  minister  to  perform  the  sol- 
emnities of  marriage  between  persons  ?  Can  such  mar- 
riages be  viewed  by  us,  as  a  people,  as  strictly  legal  ?  " 

Answer,  "  The  Association  are  of  opinion  that,  with  an 
excommunicated  minister,  we  have  no  more  to  do,  except 
as  it  may  relate  to  the  announcing  of  such  excommu- 
nication ;  the  law  or  any  society  he  may  join,  must  become 
the  judge  of  his  conduct;  for  ourselves  we  cannot  coun- 
tenance such  marriages." 


CHAPTER  XVIL— 1807-1810. 


IT  is  sometimes  regarded  as  a  modern  innovation  for  city 
pastors  to  reside,  even  during  the  summer  time,  out  in 
the  country.  Dr.  Staughton,  v^^hen  pastor  of  the  First 
Church,  in  the  summer  season  frequently  lived  some  miles 
away.  Thus  in  1809  he  resided  in  Germantown.  In 
August,  1807,  he  vv^rites,  "  We  have  this  summer  a  beautiful 
situation,  four  miles  from  Philadelphia."  The  great 
demands  made  upon  pastors  of  prominent  city  churches  by 
visitors  having  every  conceivable  object  in  view,  not  only 
germain  to  the  minister's  work,  but  also  entirely  foreign 
thereto,  are  simply  fearful,  and  when  it  is  possible  to  secure 
a  home  for  a  pastor  at  a  distance  from  the  church,  an 
improvement  in  pulpit  efforts  is  generally  the  result. 

On  the  24th  of  May,  1807,  twenty-four  members  were 
dismissed  from  the  Second  Church  to  constitute  the  Frank- 
ford  Baptist  Church  of  this  city.  Their  names  were,  Thomas 
Gilbert,  Mary  Gilbert,  Joseph  Gilkey,  John  Rorer,  William 
Phillips,  Mary  Phillips,  J.  P.  Skelton,  Maria  Skelton,  Isaac 
Reed,  Elizabeth  A.  Reed,  John  Chipman,  Elizabeth  Chipman, 
John  Dainty,  Mary  Dainty,  James  Clark,  Mary  Clark, 
Benjamin  James,  Sarah  Lyons,  Esther  Gordon,  Margaret 
Kildare,  Hannah  Cottman,   Leah  Cottman,  Francis  Sellers, 


Phebe  Davis.  Six  other  persons,  baptized  by  Rev.  Thomas 
Montayne,  were  also  regarded  as  constituent  members. 

Among  the  pioneer  laborers  in  Frankford  were  Revs. 
John  Ellis,  T.  B.  Montayne,  William  Staughton,  D.  D., 
Samuel  Jones,  D.  D.,  William  Rogers,  D.  D.,  and  William 

The  above  little  band,  having  no  house  of  worship  in 
which  to  gather,  were  consitituted  into  a  church  in  a  part  of 
Nature's  temple  known  as  "  Smith's  Woods,"  situated  on 
the  Asylum  Road.  Here,  also,  they  first  celebrated  the 
Lord's  Supper,  and  on  June  13,  1807,  in  a  stream  near  by, 
three  converts,  Margaret  Rees,  Mary  Coon  and  Dinah 
Thomas,  were  baptized.  In  July  of  the  same  year  a  lot  of 
ground  was  purchased  at  the  corner  of  Pine  and  Edwards 
streets  for  $i66.66j  and  a  substantial  stone  meeting-house 
erected  thereon.  In  October  following,  the  church  united 
with  the  Philadelphia  Association,  which  rendered  material 
aid  in  supplying  them  with  preaching  for  about  two  years. 
In  1808  an  effort  was  made  to  obtain  an  Act  of  Incopora- 
tion,  but  for  some  unaccountable  reason  it  was  not  obtained 
until  1824. 

We  come  now  to  the  centennial  anniversary  of  the 
Philadelphia  Association.  One  hundred  years  had  passed 
since,  in  a  small  frame  structure  on  Second  street,  it  had 
been  organized  with  only  five  churches,  and  the  only  body 
of  the  kind  on  the  continent.  It  met  in  this  city  on  the 
identical  spot  where  it  was  formed,  October  6th,  7th,  and  8th, 
Its  founders  had  all  gone  to  their  reward,  but  the  work  they 
had  commenced  had  been  carried  gloriously  forward. 
Instead  of  the  one  Association  of  a  century  ago,  there 
were  now  ninety-two  in  the  country,  while  the  number  of 
Baptist  churches  in  the  land  had  increased  to  nearly  two 
thousand,  and  the  aggregate  membership  to  about  one 
hundred  and  forty  thousand.      The   century   sermon   was 



preached  by  Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  D.  D.,  from  the  text,  Isaiah 
ii :  3.  "  Enlarge  the  place  of  thy  tents,  and  let  them  stretch 
forth  the  curtains  of  thy  habitation.  Spare  not,  lengthen 
thy  cords  and  strengthen  thy  stakes,  for  thou  shalt  break 
forth  on  the  right  hand  and  on  the  left."  The  sermon  is 
published  in  the  minutes  of  the  Association,  and  is  a 
valuable  document,  by  one  of  the  most  useful  and  honored 
fathers  of  our  denomination.  His  services  in  the  cause  of 
Christ  were  laborious,  timely  and  successful.  An  educated 
man  himself,  he  was  an  educator  in  a  noble  sense,  and  to 
this  day  his  influence  is  felt  for  good  in  many  ways. 

In  1807,  the  Association  numbered  thirty-nine 
churches  with  an  aggregate  of  3632  members.  The  fol- 
lowing table  exhibits  the  names  of  all  the  churches  ad- 
mitted to  the  Association  during  the  first  hundred  years  of 
its  history,  the  county  and  state  in  which  the  churches  are 
located,  with  the  date  of  their  admission  to  the  Asso- 
ciation : — 


1  Lower  Dublin, 

2  Middletown,    . 

3  Piscataway, 

4  Cohansey, 

5  Welsh  Tract, 

6  Great  Valley,  . 

7  Cape  May, 

8  Hopewell, 

9  Brandywine, 

10  Montgomery,  . 

11  Tulpehocken, 

12  Kmgwood, 

i'^  Cranberry,  now  Hightstown, 

14  First,   . 

15  Southampton, 

16  Scotch  Plains, 

17  Horseneck, 

18  Oyster  Bay,     . 

19  Morristown, 

20  Rocksberry,     . 

Date  of 
County.  State.       Admission. 

Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania,  1707 

Monmouth,    New  Jersey,  1 707 

Middlesex,      New  Jersey,  1707 

Cumberland,  New  Jersey,  1707 

New  Castle,    Delaware,  1707 

Chester,  Pennsylvania,  17 11 

Cape  May,      New  Jersey,  17 12 

Hunterdon,    New  Jersey,  17 15 

Delaware,        Pennsylvania,  1715 

Montgomery,  Pennsylvania,  1719 

Berks,  Pennsylvania,  1738 

Hunterdon,     New  Jersey,  1742 
Middlesex,      Pennsylvania, 
Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania. 







New  Jersey, 
New  York, 
New  Jersey, 
New  Jersey, 




Date  of 



State.       Adviission. 

21   Ketockton, 




22  Opekon, 




23  Harford,    . 




24  New  Britain,   . 




25  Salem, 


New  Jersey, 


26  Newton,  now  Wantage, 


New  Jersey, 


27  Bateman's  Precincts, 


New  York, 


28  Dividing  Creek, 


,  New  Jersey, 


29  Smith's  Creek, 




30  First,  .... 

New  York, 

New  York, 


31   Knowlton, 


New  Jersey, 


32  New  Mills,  now  Pemberton, 


New  Jersey, 


33  Konoloway, 


,  Pennsylvania, 


34  Coram, 

Long  Island; 

,  New  York, 


35  Crosswicks,now  Upper  Freehold 

I,  Monmouth, 

New  Jersey, 


36  Mount  Bethel, 


New  Jersey, 


^'j  Lyons  Farms, 


New  Jersey, 


38  Goshen, 


New  York, 


39  Philip's  Patent,      . 


New  York, 


40  Pittsgrove, 


New  Jersey, 


41  Manahawkin, 


New  Jersey, 


42  Vincent, 




43  Tuckahoe, 


New  Jersey, 


44  Northern  Liberty, 


,  Pennsylvania, 


45  Cortland's  Manor, 


New  York, 


46  Second, 

New  York, 

New  York, 


47  Stamford,               ,             , 




48  King  Street,    . 




49  Oblong,  now  Millerton, 


New  York, 


50  Cow  Marsh,    . 




51  Armenia, 


New  York, 


52  London  Tract, 




53  Hilltown,  . 




24  Lower  Smithfield, 




55  Mispilion, 




56  First, 




57  Duck  Creek, 




58  First,  Wilmington,     . 

New  Castle, 



59  Canoe  Brook, 


New  Jersey, 


60  Jacobstown,     . 


New  Jersey, 


61  Staten  Island, 


New  Jersey, 


62  Pittston, 




63  Marcus  Hook, 




64  Roxborough, 


,  Pennsylvania, 




Date  0/ 



State.      Admission. 

65  Penn's  Manor, 




66  Sideling  Hill,  now  Samptown, 


New  Jersey, 


6-]  West  Creek, 


New  Jersey, 


68  Shamokin, 

Northumberland,  Penn., 


69  Amwell,  now  Flemington, 


New  Jersey, 


70  Burlington,      . 


New  Jersey, 

1 801 

71  Mount  Holly, 


New  Jersey, 


72  Dover, 




73  Second, 


,  Pennsylvania, 


74  Second,  Hopewell, 


New  Jersey, 


75  Blockley,  . 


,  Pennsylvania, 


76  Squan, 


New  Jersey, 


'j^  Evesham,  now  Marlton,    . 


New  Jersey, 


78  Trenton  and  Lamberton, 


New  Jersey, 


79  Frankford, 


,  Pennsylvania, 


From  the  above  table  we  learn  that  Philadelphia  was 
the  great  centre  for  the  churches  in  all  the  region  round 
about.  From  Pennsylvania,  New  Jersey,  New  York,  Con- 
necticut, Delaware,  Maryland  and  Virginia  they  came  during 
the  first  hundred  years  of  its  existence,  to  be  identified 
with  it. 

By  an  act  of  the  Legislature  of  Pennsylvania,  passed  in 
1809,  the  Second  Baptist  Church  was  regularly  incor- 

There  have  been  born  in  Philadelphia  many  who  in  after 
years  were  honored  of  God  in  doing  a  great  work  for  him. 
So  there  have  been  baptized  into  the  churches  of  this 
city  persons  whose  names  have  become  household  words 
and  whose  memories  will  be  fragrant  to  the  latest  hour  of 
time.  Among  these  is  the  name  of  John  P.  Crozer,  who 
with  his  sister  Sarah,  was  baptized  in  the  Schuylkill  river, 
at  half-past  twelve  o'clock  on  Saturday,  April  9th,  1808,  by 
Rev.  William  Staughton,  D.  D.,  and  united  with  the  First 
Baptist  Church.  Mr.  Crozer  was  now  only  fifteen  years  of 
age,  having  been  born  January  13th,  1793.  The  circum- 
stances   of   his  conversion    are   thus  given   in  the   beau- 


tiful  language  of  his  biographer,  Rev.  J.  Wheaton  Smith, 
D.  D.,"^  "  On  the  farm  adjoining  his  (J.  P.  Crozer's)  father's 
lived  an  estimable  family  by  the  name  of  Pennock.  On  the 
death  of  a  daughter  in  their  household — a  lovely  Christian 
young  woman,  who  was  the  intimate  friend  of  Elizabeth, 
the  sister  of  John, — Dr.  Staughton  came  from  Philadelphia 
to  preach  the  funeral  sermon.  The  neighbors  and  friends 
assembled  at  the  house  of  the  Pennocks,  where  the  service 
was  held.  Under  the  influence  of  this  and  a  few  following 
discourses  at  the  same  place  a  number  of  persons  were  con- 
verted, among  whom  were  John  and  his  sister  Sarah. 

"  Little  did  the  excellent  Staughton  think,  as  he  stood 
that  day  under  the  low  ceiling  of  a  farm-house  room,  look- 
ing around  him  upon  the  little  company  of  neighbors  and 
friends  seated^upon  chairs  and  benches,  that  there  sat  among 
the  boys  a  plain  but  thoughtful  lad,  not  yet  fifteen  years  old, 
who  was  to  be  one  of  the  brightest  jewels  in  the  crown  of 
his  future  rejoicing — one  who  would  hew  out  a  way  to  opu- 
lence and  extended  usefulness,  becoming  the  benefactor  of 
the  poor,  the  friend  of  the  '  feebleminded,'  the  patron  of 
learning,  and  the  steadfast  supporter  of  religion.  Often  in 
after  years  the  full,  round  tones  of  this  princely  preacher 
rung  out  upon  the  ears  of  the  multitude  which  thronged 
his  ministry  in  the  old  round  meeting-house  in  Sansom 
Street ;  but  never,  perhaps,  were  they  heard  so  far  as  when 
he  spoke  in  the  farm-house  kitchen.  As  he  arose,  the  hopes 
of  future  colleges  and  schools  hung  trembling  on  his  words  ; 
Ethiopia  was  stretching  out  her  hands  to  God  in  the  prayer 
of  that  simple  service;  and  the  silver  bells  of  Burman  pago- 
das hung  hushed  and  tremulous  to  the  songs  of  praise. 

"Brethren  in  the  ministry  of  Jesus,  let  us  take  a  lesson. 
Our  wayside  efforts  may  prove  our  best.     A  sermon  in  a 

*  Life  of  John  P.  Crozer,  page  30. 


country  town,  a  friendly  talk  on  the  dusty  path  of  travel, 
a  word  of  counsel  in  some  desolate  household  of  the  poor, 
may  yield  the  crowning  blessing  of  our  earthly  lives." 

In  the  business  meeting  of  the  First  Church,  August  7, 
1809,  "  the  following  letter  was  presented  from  a  number  of 
brethren,  in  Southwark,  requesting  to  be  dismissed  in  order 
to  form  a  new  church  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ ": — 

This  is  to  certify  that  we,  whose  names  are  hereunto  subscribed, 
have  taken  into  consideration  how  desirable  it  would  be  for  the  Baptist 
cause  to  be  extended  in  this  city  and  established  in  Southwark,  and, 
after  due  deliberation,  do  believe  no  plan  more  eligible  could  be  con- 
certed to  bring  about  the  erection  of  a  Baptist  meeting-house  in 
Southwark  than  for  a  sufficient  number  of  brethren  and  sisters 
unitedly  to  agree  to  be  constituted  into  a  regular  church  of  Jesus 
Christ,  under  the  name  of  the  Third  Baptist  Church  of  Philadelphia. 

We,  therefore,  after  all  due  consideration,  do  solicit  of  the  First 
Baptist  Church  of  Philadelphia,  of  which  we  respectively  stand  mem- 
bers, a  letter  of  dismission  for  the  purpose  of  being  constituted  an 
independent  church  of  Christ,  under  the  name  above  mentioned. 

We  would  not  have  any  of  our  brethren  harbor  a  thought  that  our 
request  arises  from  any  disaffection  on  our  parts,  nor  from  a  wish  to 
leave  the  church  of  which  we  are  members  from  any  other  con- 
sideration than  the  advancement  of  the  Redeemer's  interest.  Hoping 
this,  our  resolution,  will  meet  your  cordial  approbation,  and  that  when 
such  a  measure,  with  your  concurrence  and  assistance,  may  be 
entered  into,  there  may  exist  the  utmost  harmony  and  Christian  love 
is  the  prayer  of  yours  in  a  precious  Redeemer. 

Samuel  Oakford,  Hannah  Bacon,  Elizabeth  Van  Blunk,  Richard 
Van  Blunk,  Annie  Elberson,  Mary  Cane,  Isaac  Bacon,  Elizabeth 
Merwine,  Benjamin  Thomson,  Rachel  Barber,  Mary  Robinson, 
Richard  Johnson,  Anna  Clark,  Sarah  Barnet,  James  Naglee,  Sarah 
Cox,  Sarah  James,  John  P.  Peckworth,  Jane  Peckworth,  Enoch 
Reynolds,  John  McCleod,  Eliza  McCleod,  Lewis  Baldwin,  William 
Robinson,  Jehu  Milnor,  John  Cox. 

This  very  kindly  request  was  unanimously  granted,  and 
on  Wednesday,  August  23rd,  they  were  constituted  in  the 
First  Baptist  meeting-house  as  the  Third  Baptist  Church. 

The  early  custom  of  imposition  of  hands  on  the  newly 
baptized  continued  to  be  practiced  in  the  First  Church,  under 


the  ministry  of   Dr.  Staughton.      Under  date  of  April   3, 
1809,  it  is  recorded  : — 

John  Kidwell  having  been  baptized  and  expecting  shortly  to  sail, 
was  received  by  the  imposition  of  hands,  and  then  received  the  right 
hand  of  fellowship. 

So  prosperous  had  the  church  become  that  the  month 
following  the  above  record  they  were  able  to  pledge  to  their 
pastor  fifteen  hundred  dollars  and  the  free  use  of  the  parson- 
age. While  the  church  then,  as  since,  was  always  disposed 
to'doliberal  things  for  their  pastor,  they  had  never  previously 
been  able  to  give  so  large  a  salary. 

It  is  impossible  to  peruse  the  minutes  of  the  churches 
all  through  the  early  days  without  being  impressed  with 
the  strict  discipline  that  was  maintained  by  them.  The 
utmost  care  was  exercised  in  the  reception  of  members ;  the 
closest  supervision  was  maintained  over  all  connected  with 
the  church,  and  any  dereliction,  or  wandering,  or  infidelity 
was  vigorously  attended  to.  Everyone  seemed  to  feel  that 
there  was  a  difference  between  a  member  of  church  and  a 

It  is  an  old  and  familiar  adage  that  times  change.      At 

the  present  day  we  are  impressed  with  this  as  we  read  a 

record  like  the  following  in  the  minutes  of  the  First  Church, 

under  date  of  June  26,   1809  : — 

On  motion  it  was  resolved,  that  in  future  there  shall  not  be  any 
funeral  in  military  order,  that  is,  with  arms  or  martial  music.  Funerals 
in  Masonic  order  are  also  prohibited  in  our  burial  ground.  Our 
sexton  is  desired  to  attend  to  the  above  resolution. 

After  much  discussion  and  perplexity  it  was  now  felt 
that  the  time  had  fully  come  for  the  organization  of  an 
African  Baptist  church  in  this  city ;  accordingly,  under  date 
of  June  12,  1809,  in  the  minutes  of  the  First  Church,  "  the 
following  letter,  dated  May  13,  1809,  was  received  from 
brethren  of  Color  "  : — 

We,  whose  names  are  here  written,  are  desirous  of  obtaining  our 


^        letters  of  dismission  from  the  First  Baptist  Church  in  Philadelphia  for 
the  purpose  of  becoming  a  distinct  church  of  the  Lord  Jesus. 

John  Harris,  Jane  Simmonds,  Sarah  Johnson,  Edward  Simmonds, 
Hannah  Cole,  Zilpha  Rhees,  Samuel  Johnson,  Nancy  Cole,  Sarah 
Bartley,  Sarah  Harris,  Phillis  Dorcas,  Jane  Riddle,  Betsey  Jackson. 

This  request  was  complied  with,  and  on  June  19th,  it  was 

Resolved,  That  this  church  give  our  brethren  of  color  the  use  of 
this  house  on  Thursday,  the  29th  inst.,  for  the  purpose  of  being,  with 
members  from  other  churches,  constituted  and  organized  into  a 
regular  church  state. 

It  was  further  Resolved,  That  our  brethren  Staughton,  Rogers, 
Peckworth  and  Ingels  be  a  committee  to  assist  our  brethren  of 
color  in  their  constitution. 

The  church  subsequently  aided,  very  materially,  this 
new  organization. 

July  9,  1 8 10,  the  First  Church  authorized  the  erection  of 
a  two-story  brick  building,  32  by  18  feet,  at  a  cost  of  ;^ 1, 100, 
on  the  lot  at  Spruce  street  and  the  Schuylkill  river,  for 
baptismal  occasions. 

The  Missionary  Society  of  our  city  continued  to  extend 
its  labors,  and  met  with  cheering  results.  October  5,  18 10, 
the  Secretary,  Rev.  Dr.  Staughton,  wrote  as  follows  : 

The  Philadelphia  Baptist  Missionary  Society  announces  with 
pleasure  to  the  churches  and  to  the  public  that  there  are  seven  mis- 
sionaries at  the  present  time  in  their  service.  Bro.  Thomas  G.  Jones 
is  engaged  in  the  tract  of  country  near  the  dividing  line  of  the  states 
of  Ohio  and  Pennsylvania.  Bro.  Thomas  Smiley  on  the  western 
waters  of  the  Susquehanna.  Bro.  Henry  George  is  laboring  on  the 
waters  of  the  Owl  Creek,  in  the  Ohio  state;  and  Bro.  William  West 
on  the  margin  of  Lake  Erie  and  the  country  adjacent.  Bro.  Montayne 
for  two  months  in  the  year  has  been,  and  continues  engaged  in  the 
small  towns  on  the  Delaware  and  in  other  parts  of  Bucks  and  North- 
ampton counties,  Pennsylvania.  Brethren  Bateman  and  Cooper, 
whose  appointments  originated  at  the  present  meeting,  have  their 
tours  assigned  them  in  parts  of  West  Jersey  where  the  gospel  is  never 
or  seldom  preached, — excepting  that  Bro.  Bateman  is  instructed  to 
devote  a  part  of  his  time  in  Pennsylvania.  The  information  received 
from  the  Missionaries  is  peculiarly  encouraging  ;  a  holy  zeal  for  the 
spread  of  the  Redeemer's  kingdom  among  us,  we  trust,  is  greatly 
reviving.  It  is  hoped  the  churches  generally  will  catch  and  retain 
the  sacred  flame,  and  that  (to  use  the  words  of  our  Bro.  Carey)  we 
may  be  assisted  to  "  expect  great  things  and  attempt  great  things." 


CHAPTER  XVIIL— 1811-1815. 


THE  growth  of  the  city  westward,  and  owing  to  the 
size  of  the  First  Church,  then  numbering  473  mem- 
bers, steps  were  taken  at  the  beginning  of  January,  181 1,  to- 
wards the  organization  of  a  new  church.  Nearly  one  hundred 
members  were  dismissed.  At  first  this  movement  seemed 
to  be  approved  by  all  parties,  but  unfriendly  remarks  were 
made,  which  inaugurated  a  spirit  of  alienation,  whose  bitter 
results  have  since  been  sorrowfully  learned.  No  good  ever 
comes  from  crimination  and  recrimination.  A  guarded 
tongue  and  a  quiet  peace-making  conduct  are  always  com- 
mendable in  all  enterprises,  especially  in  connection  with 
the  interests  of  the  Redeemer's  kingdom.  This  movement 
resulted  in  the  organization  of  the  Sansom  Street  Baptist 
Church,  on  the  24th  of  January,  181 1,  and  the  following 
month  Rev.  Dr.  Staughton  was  called  as  pastor.  This  call 
he  accepted.  The  church  worshipped  for  a  time  in  the 
court-house  on  Chestnut  Street,  and  afterwards  in  the  Acad- 
emy on  Fourth  Street.  A  lot,  however,  was  soon  procured 
on  Sansom  Street,  above  Eighth,  whereon  was  erected  a  cir- 
cular building,  ninety  feet  in  diameter,  which,  with  the  lot, 
cost  the  sum  of  $40,000. 

DR.    STAUGHTON   SETTLED   AS    PASTOR.  179    i 

"  Large  as  this  amount  was,"  *  says  the  Memoir  of  Dr.    ' 
Staughton,  "the  probability  is  that  it  would  have  been  ob-   i 
tained,  had  not  adverse  circumstances  occurred,  producing   I 
great  commercial   distress.      The    annual  revenue  arising   | 
from  pew  rents  and  collections  amounted  at  first  to  between 
four  and  five  thousand  dollars.     The  seats  of  this  immense 
building,    during  the   whole   period  of  his    ministrations,   j 
were  well  filled ;  but,  on  the   Lord's  day  evening,  the  place   \ 
was  crowded  with  solemn  and  admiring  spectators.     His 
popularity  was  unimpaired  by  time,   and  those  who  heard 
him  once  desired  to  hear  him  again.     With  this  church  he   \ 
spent  the  happiest  and  most  useful  days  of  his  life."  , 

It  is  now    universal  among   Baptist   Churches  to  take 
up    a   collection   after   the   administration   of   the    Lord's    j 
supper,  for    the    poor    of  the    church.     The    first    intro-    j 
duction  of  this   custom  in  this  vicinity  was  authorized  by    j 
by   the   First    Church,   January    nth,   1811,    after   several    ■ 
months  discussion,  as  follows  ;  "  It  was  resolved  that  a  col-    i 
lection  for  the  use  of  the  poor  members  of  this  church  be    i 
made  monthly,  immediately  after  the  hymn  is  sung,  at  the 
conclusion    of  the   administration  of  the  Lord's    Supper." 
At  the  organization  of  the  Third  Baptist  Church,  Rev.  John 
P.  Peckworth  became  the  pastor  and  filled  that  position  for 
about  fifteen  years,  during  which  time  the  church  prospered 
greatly   under  his  ministry.     He   was  highly   esteemed  by 
all  the  churches,  and  faithfully  served  the  cause  of  Christ. 

In  September,  181 1,  Rev.  David  Jones,  Jr.,  became  the 
first   pastor   at   Frankford.       An    interesting    biographical     i 
sketch  of  this  brother   is  published  in   Tract    132    of  the 
American  Baptist  Publication  Society.     From  it  we    quote 
the  following  relative  to  his  labors  at  that  place  : —  : 

It  is  now  more  than  six  months  (May  16,   181 2,)  since  I  came  to 
Frankford.     I  have  endeavored  to  preach  frequently  since  1  came,  for 

*  Page  84. 


the  Apostle  saith,  2  Cor.  9:6,  ^'  He  that  soweth  sparingly,  shall  reap 
sparingly.  The  little  church  labors  under  grievous  difficulties  ;  never- 
theless, I  have  found  much  freedom  in  dispensing  the  word  of  life 
among  them.     Our  congregation  is  increasing. 

The  following  entry  is  made  at  the  close  of  his  labors 
with  this  church,  in  his  journal,  dated  December  13,  1813  : — 

This  evening  I  preached  for  the  last  time  in  Frankford.  The 
meeting-house  was  crowded.  I  spoke  from  Proverbs  23  :  23.  May 
the  Lord  grant  to  bless  Frankford,  and  call  many  sinners  to  the 
knowledge  of  the  truth.     Amen.  D,  Jones. 

He  was  born  in  North  Wales,  England,  April  9,  1785. 
After  leaving  Frankford  he  became  pastor  in  Newark,  New 
Jersey,  and  remained  there  until  December,  1821,  when  he 
assumed  the  pastoral  care  of  the  Lower  Dublin  Church,  of 
this  city.  Here  he  labored  till  his  death,  which  occurred 
April  9,  1833. 

The  First  Church,  left  pastorless,  at  once  looked  out 
for  a  man  who,  in  talent  and  commanding  influence,  would 
be  a  worthy  successor  of  a  noble  line  of  able  men.  Rev. 
Dr.  Broaddus,  of  Caroline  county,  Virginia,  was  earnestly 
sought,  but,  on  account  of  various  domestic  claims,  he 
declined.  Rev.  Dr.  Henry  Holcombe,  of  Savannah,  Georgia, 
was  then  invited,  and  after  preaching  to  the  people  with 
great  acceptance  he  was  unanimously  chosen  to  the  pastorate, 
October  17th,  18 11.  This  call  he  at  once  accepted,  and 
entered  upon  his  duties  the  beginning  of  the  new  year. 
The  church  furnished  his  house  and  gave  him  a  salary  of 
$1,600  a  year.  It  was  customary  then  for  the  ministers  to 
preach  three  times  on  the  Lord's  Day,  but  the  church 
assured  Dr.  Holcombe  that  he  should  only  preach  twice. 
He  was  a  man  of  excellent  talents,  strong  will,  vigorous 
in  his  opposition  to  what  he  supposed  to  be  wrong,  and  very 
earnest  in  controversy.  He  ably  served  the  First  Church 
for  thirteen  years,  and  had  within  its  fellowship  a  host  of 
devoted  and  true  friends. 


The  missionary  spirit  was  now  beginning  to  manifest 
itself,  and  in  1812  a  monthly  concert  of  prayer  was  begun 
by  the  Baptist  churches  of  this  city.  The  meetings  were 
held  in  each  church  alternately,  to  pray  "  for  the 
spread  of  the  ever-blessed  gospel."  In  addition  to  this,  the 
churches  themselves  held  "quarterly  prayer-meetings  for 
the  spread  of  the  gospel,"  at  the  residences  of  the  mem- 
bers. March  1 5th,  1 8 1 3,  is  the  first  recorded  special  sermon 
in  the  interests  of  Foreign  Missions.  The  record  is  as 
follows  : — 

Resolved,  That  an  appropriate  sermon  be  preached  and  a  col- 
lection made  on  Lord's  day  evening  next,  for  the  purpose  of  assisting 
the  Mission  at  Serampore  towards  reimbursing  the  loss  by  the  late 

On  Saturday,  October  17th,  1812,  Thomas  Stewart,  of 
Beaufort,  South  Carolina,  a  student  of  Princeton,  New 
Jersey,  visited  Dr.  Holcombe,  and,  giving  evidence  of  a 
change  of  heart  was  baptized  the  same  day.  Desirous  of 
uniting  with  the  church,  and  being  under  the  necessity  of 
returning  at  once  to  Princeton,  to  resume  his  studies  the 
next  morning,  the  pastor  detained  the  church,  when  Mr. 
Stewart  narrated  his  Christian  experience,  was  received 
as  a  member,  and  the  right  hand  of  fellowship  was  at  once 
given.  A  Baptist  minister  has  a  scriptural  right  to  baptize 
any  one  giving  an  evidence  of  his  faith  in  Jesus,  but  it 
requires  a  vote  of  the  church  to  make  said  person  a  member. 
The  ordinance  of  baptism  seems  to  have  been  committed 
by  our  Lord  to  the  ministry,  and  on  this  principle  Dr.  Hol- 
combe proceeded. 

In  18 12  the  First  African  Church  settled  as  their  pastor 
John  King,  one  of  their  own  licentiates.  He  was  ordained 
and  remained  pastor  for  two  years,  when  he  was  excluded 
from  their  fellowship. 

In  the  year  18 12  the  society  formed  in  the  First  Baptist 


Church,  with  the  laudable  view  of  educating  and  assisting 
the  destitute  orphans,  was  enlarged  so  as  to  embrace  all  the 
city.  Article  I  of  the  Constitution  of  "  The  Philadelphia 
Baptist  Orphan  Society"  was  as  follows  : — 

The  design  of  this  Society  is  to  establish  a  register  of  the  births 
and  deaths  of  members  of  the  Baptist  churches  and  congregations  in 
the  city  and  Hberties  of  Philadelphia,  who  shall  .become  subscribers 
thereto,  and  who  shall  pay,  or  cause  to  be  paid,  or  have  heretofore 
paid  at  the  time  of  subscribing  a  sum  not  less  than  fifty  cents  for  each 
name  recorded  in  the  Register.  The  interest  arising  from  which  fund 
shall  be  applied  to  the  education  and  assistance  of  such  orphan  and 
indigent  children  whose  names  may  have  been  recorded  in  the  Society. 

Under  date  of  November  25th,  1812,  the  President, 
Thomas  Shields,  stated  : — 

The  funds  of  this  Society  have  increased  to  the  amount  of  about 
$1,100,  and  had  not  the  deaths  of  most  of  the  Trustees  been  experi- 
enced, and  other  causes  existed  to  retard  the  operation  of  the  Society, 
a  much  larger  sum  would  now  have  been  at  their  disposal. 

As  a  stimulus  to  future  exertions,  and  with  a  view  to  concentrate 
the  efforts  of  the  different  congregations  of  our  denomination,  it  has 
been  agreed  that  a  union  of  all  the  churches  and  congregations  in  this 
city  should  take  place,  with  a  view  of  embracing  the  valuable  purposes 
of  establishing  a  record  of  all  the  births  and  deaths  in  our  several 
congregations,  and  an  academy  for  the  education  of  our  children  gen- 
erally, as  well  as  the  destitute   orphans   who  will   be   educated   and 
assisted  according  to  the  ability  of  the  Society.     The  great  utility  of 
such  a  record  in  a  Baptist  Association  must  be  obvious  to  every  reflect- 
ing mind;  not  having  any  ceremony  performed  on  our  children  in  a 
state  of  infancy  which  is  recorded  as   a  public  act— their   births  and 
deaths  being  recorded  in  a  family  Bible.     And,  in  how  many  instances 
does  it  occur  that  this  is  either  lost  or  destroyed ;  or  how  easy  a  matter 
it  would  be  for  a  person  against  whom   this   record   would  operate  to 
effectually  prevent  its  being  brought  forward,  by  secreting  or  destroy- 
ing it.     Should  we  or  our  children  wish  to  procure  from  public  record 
our  parentage  or  place  of  nativity  for  the  purposes  of  obtaining  a 
protection  to  go  to  a  foreign  country,  or  for  substantiating  titles  to 
property,  we  have  none  to  resort  to  to  obtain  the  desired  proof.     And 
further,  when  we  contemplate  the  many  advantages,    both   temporal 
and  spiritual,  which,  under  the  blessing  of  God,  will  arise  from  the 
establishment  of  a  Baptist  academy,   that,   from  a  small  beginning, 
may  rival  any  on  our  continent,    we  feel   a  pleasure   the   duty  has 
devolved  on   us   to   assist  in   the   establishment  and   support  of   so 
excellent  an  institution. 


Rev.  David  Benedict,  D.  D.,  writing  of  this  period,  says 
that^  "  Philadelphia,  both  by  the  North  and  South,  was 
regarded  as  the  emporium  of  Baptist  influence.  Here  the 
missionary  spirit  which  had  been  kindled  in  different  parts 
of  the  country  burst  forth  into  a  flame,  and  here  was  or- 
ganized The  General  Missionary  Convention  of  the 
Baptist  Denomination  in  the  United  States  of  America  for 
Foreign  Missions." 

Early  in  1812  the  first  American  Missionaries  sailed  for 
their  work  in  Asia.  Revs.  Adoniram  Judson  and  Samuel 
Newell  sailed  from  Salem  on  the  19th  of  February,  and  on 
the  24th,  Revs.  Messrs  Hall  and  Nott,  with  their  wives,  and 
Rev.  Luther  Rice,  sailed  from  Philadelphia,  in  the  ship 
Harmony.  These  missionaries  were  Congregationalists, 
but  on  the  voyage  the  views  of  Judson  and  his  wife,  and  of 
Luther  Rice,  underwent  a  change  on  the  subject  of  baptism, 
and  they  were  baptized  at  Serampore,  by  Rev.  Mr.  Ward,  of 
the  English  Baptist  Mission.  Judson  remained,  but  Rice  re- 
turned to  stir  up  American  Baptists  to  undertake  the  For- 
eign Mission  work. 

On  Thursday  afternoon,  October  5th,  18 13,  the  Phila- 
delphia Association  had  this  subject  before  them,  resulting 
in  the  inauguration  of  active  measures  for  the  benefit- of  the 
heathen.  It  was  determined  to  organize  "The  Philadel- 
phia Baptist  Society  for  Foreign  Missions,"  and  ''brethren 
Holcombe,  Staughton,  Rogers,  Samuel  Jones,  H.  G.  Jones, 
J.  B.  Montayne,  J.  Mathias,  J.  P.  Peckworth,  Joseph  May- 
lin,  W.  Magee  and  G.  Ingels  "  were  appointed  to  devise  a 
plan  for  the  society,  and  to  carry  it  into  effect. 

Thus  the  missionary  spirit  began  to  be  aroused,  and 
with  that  also  a  desire  for  crystalization.  Delegates  from 
local  missionaray  societies  and  other  religious  bodies  con- 

*  Fifty  Years  Among  the  Baptists.     Page  46. 



vened  on  the  i8th  of  May,  1 8 14,  in  the  meeting-house  on 
Second  Street,  "  to  organize  a  plan  for  eliciting,  combining, 
and  directing  the  energies  of  the  whole  denomination  in 
one  sacred  effort  for  sending  the  glad  tidings  of  salvation  to 
the  heathen,  and  to  nations  destitute  of  pure  gospel  light." 
The  site  of  this  meeting  was  already  a  consecrated  spot. 
Here  the  First  Baptist  Association  of  America  had  been 
organized.  Here  Hopewell  Academy  and  Brown  Univer- 
sity, our  first  educational  institutions  in  this  country,  had 
been  projected.  Here  the  oldest  Baptist  Association  in  the 
country  had  "  met  at  sunrise  "  when  the  news  of  the  sur- 
render of  the  British  arms  at  Yorktown,  in  1782,  was  received. 
Fitting  place  for  the  assembling  of  the  men  who  were  to  or- 
ganize for  our  Foreign  Mission  work.  There  were  twenty- 
six  clergymen  and  seven  laymen  from  eleven  different 
states  and  from  the  District  of  Columbia.  Their  names  are 
on  the  records  in  the  follow 






Thomas  Baldwin,  D.  D 
Lucius  BoUes,  A.  M., 
John  Gano,  A.  M., 
John  Williams, 

Thomas  Hewitt, 

Edward  Probyn, 

Nathaniel  Smith, 
Burgiss  Allison,  D.  D., 
Richard  Proudfoot, 
Josiah  Stratton, 
William  Boswell, 
Henry  Smalley,  A.  M., 

Matthew  Randall, 

John  Sisty, 

Stephen  Ustick, 
William  Rogers,  D.  D., 
Henry  Holcombe,  D.  D 
Wilham  Staughton,  D. 
William  White,  A.  M., 
John  P.  Peckworth, 
Horatio  G.  Jones, 
Silas  Hough, 

ng  order:- 




Rhode  Island. 
New  York. 

New  Jersey. 




Rev.  Joseph  Matthias, 
Daniel  Dodge, 
Lewis  Richards, 
Thomas  Brooke, 
Luther  Rice,  A.  M., 
Robert  B.  Semple, 
Jacob  Grigg,      . 
James  A.  Ronaldson, 
Richard  Furman,  D.  D., 

Hon.  Matthias  B.  Talmadge, 

Rev.  W.  B.  Johnson, 





District  of  Columbia. 

North  Carolina. 
South  Carolina. 


After  much  deliberation  and  prayer  they  organized  the 
Triennial  Convention.  The  object  of  it  was  for  missionary 
purposes  alone.  Its  meetings  were  held  every  three  years, 
and  from  it  has  sprung  our  present  American  Baptist  Mis- 
sionary Union,  which,  under  God,  is  doing  a  grand  work  in 
the  heathen  world.  Two  months  prior  to  the  meeting  of 
this  body,  on  February  7th,  our  denomination  met  with  a 
serious  loss  in  the  death  of  Rev.  Dr.  Samuel  Jones,  at 
Lower  Dublin,  aged  79  years.  He  was  a  man  of  fine  phy- 
sical appearance,  superior  mental  abihties,  kind  hearted,  and 
had  a  deservedly  high  reputation  as  a  preacher.  He  was  an 
ornament  to  the  denomination  he  served  so  faithfully,  and 
to  him  we  owe  a  debt  of  gratitude  for  the  services  he  ren- 
dered with  so  much  devotion  and  ability. 

The  year  181 5  introduces  us  to  the  practical  beginning 
of  the  Sunday-school  work  of  the  churches  in  this  city ; 
that  of  the  First  Church  leading  the  way.  Shortly  after- 
wards and  during  the  same  year,  a  Sunday-school  was 
started  in  the  Sansom  Street  Church ;  meeting  with  favor, 
the  next  year  one  was  organized  in  the  Second  Church,  and 
in  1 817,  the  one  at  Roxborough.  The  following  year, 
three  additional  schools  were  started  by  the  Third,  Block- 
ley  and  Fourth  Churches.  On  account  of  the  importance 
and  results  of  this  work  a  somewhat  full  account  of  the 
origin  of  the  First  Baptist  School  in  this  city  will  be  of  in- 


In  1 8 15,  Mrs.  Ann  Rhees,  a  member  of  the  First 
Church,  became  acquainted  with  a  poor  family  in  the  vicin- 
ity of  her  home,  consisting  of  a  mother  and  three  children, 
whose  husband  and  father  had,  a  short  time  before,  enlisted 
in  the  state  service,  leaving  them  without  support,  except 
the  scanty  pittance  of  his  half  pay  and  what  little  the  poor 
mother  could  earn  from  washing.  The  children  were 
growing  up  in  ignorance.  The  excellent  common  school 
system  now  enjoyed  was  not  then  in  vogue.  Under  these 
circumstances  it  occurred  to  Mrs.  Rhees  that  for  the  sake 
of  these  children  and  others,  it  would  be  well  to  open  a 
Sunday-school  in  the  church,  to  teach  them  how  to  read,  so 
they  could  read  the  Bible,  and  for  their  religous  instruction. 
She  suggested  her  plan  to  two  sisters  of  the  church,  who 
favored  the  movement  and  agreed  to  co-operate.  These 
three,  Mrs.  Rhees,  and  the  Misses  Mary  Hallman,  and 
Emily  Ramage,  at  once  sought  the  advice  of  a  few  brethren. 
The  first  one,  regarded  as  a  wise  and  prudent  counsellor, 
told  them  *' he  did  not  like  the  idea  of  congregating 
children  in  a  mass,  and  exhibiting  them  on  the  Lord's  day 
to  be  gazed  at  as  paupers."  At  this  day  such  advice  seems 
astounding.  Caution  and  prudence,  when  balanced  by  a 
strong  faith  and  an  enterprising  spirit  are  well,  but  when  they 
exist  alone,  to  follow  them  generally  means  inactivity,  cove- 
tousness  and  spiritual,  barrenness.  By  this  cold  and  cut- 
ting remark  of  the  venerable  brother,  the  ardor  of  the 
women  was  somewhat  dampened,  but  not  enough  to  lead 
them  to  abandon  the  project.  They  then  called  on  their 
Pastor,  Rev.  Dr.  Holcombe.  He  listened  to  their  statement, 
and  then  pleasantly  replied,  "  Well  my  sisters,  you  can  but 
try  it,  blossoms  are  sweet  and  beautiful  even  if  they  produce 
no  fruit."  Cheered  by  this  remark,  and  hopeful  that  the 
blossom  of  their  consecrated  effort  would  develope  into  a 
blessed  fruitage,  they  called  on  Deacon  Joseph  Keen.     He 


entered  into  full  sympathy  with  their  work  and  heartily 
said  "  Yes,  my  sisters.  I'll  do  all  I  can  to  help  you." 
He  even  promised  to  come  and  open  the  school  with 
prayer.  I  cannot  refrain  from  speaking  further  of  Brother 
Keen,  whose  earnest  words  of  Christian  cheer  were  in  reality 
the  means  of  inaugurating  the  First  Baptist  Sunday-school 
of  Philadelphia.  No  one  can  peruse  the  Minutes  during 
his  long  connection  with  the  church  without  being  im- 
pressed with  the  variety  and  intensity  of  his  Christian  ac- 
tivities, the  kindliness  of  his  heart,  the  loyalty  of  his  faith, 
and  the  high  esteem  in  which  he  was  held  by  the  entire 
church.  He  was  a  worthy  sire  of  a  posterity  still  nobly 
identified  with  our  churches  in  this  city.  Thus  cheered, 
these  women  began  the  work  of  collecting  the  children,  and 
on  a  pleasant  Sunday  in  October,  with  an  additional  co- 
laborer,  Mrs.  Sarah  Ogden,  held  the  first  session  of  a  Sun- 
day-school under  Baptist  auspices  in  Philadelphia.  Deacon 
Keen  was  true  to  his  promise,  and  opened  the  school  with 
the  first  public  prayer  connected  with  the  Baptist  Sunday- 
school  enterprise  of  this  city.  With  twenty  boys  and  girls,  and 
four  female  teachers,  encouraged  by  the  presence  of  Deacon 
Keen,  and  a  friend  who  accompanied  him,  commenced  that 
movement  which  has  been  so  signally  blessed  of  God,  until 
in  this  city,  in  sixty  years  afterwards,  we  have  sixty-five 
Baptist  Sunday-schools,  numbering  1,645  officers  and 
teachers,  and  17,561  scholars;  not  to  speak  of  the  immense 
amount  of  good  done  here  and  abroad  through  the  school 
started  in  the  old  meeting-house,  on  Second  Street.  To 
this  school  Mrs.  Rhees  from  the  first  took  her  two  sons, 
Morgan  J.  and  John.  The  former  became  an  honored  and 
useful  minister  of  Christ,  and  the  latter  a  physician.  The 
children  met  at  first  in  the  gallery  of  the  church,  and  were 
divided  into  four  classes,  taught  by  the  above  teachers. 
Deacon  Keen  went  every  Sunday  for  a  time,  to  open  the 


school  with  prayer,  or  to  see  that  it  was  done.  In  his  historical 
address,  at  the  fiftieth  anniversary  of  this  school.  Judge  T. 
Brantly  Hanna,  of  this  city,  to  whom  I  am  indebted  for  the 
facts  concerning  the  origin  of  this  school  says  :  "  The  en- 
terprise soon  began  to  attract  the  attention  of  other  mem- 
bers of  the  church.  More  teachers  were  enlisted,  and  the 
children  of  Mrs.  Rhees,  together  with  those  of  some  cour- 
ageous members  who  did  not  fear  their  offspring  would  be 
considered  paupers,  having  entered  the  school,  induced 
other  parents  to  imitate  their  example.  The  school  was 
soon  taken  under  the  fostering  care  of  the  "  Female  Benev- 
olent Society,"  who,  on  the  15th  of  January,  18 16,  applied 
to  the  church  for  the  use  of  the  room,  in  the  two-story 
building  lately  finished,  adjoining  the  meeting-house,  for  the 
purpose  of  establishing  there  the  Sunday  School.  The  ap- 
plication was  granted  and  the  school  removed  to  their  new 
home,  there  to  meet,  with  a  short  interval  elapsing,  when 
they  occupied  the  second  story  of  one  of  the  stores  on  Sec- 
ond street  until  May,  1856,  when  the  church  took  -"posses- 
sion of  the  edifice  at  Broad  and  Arch  streets.  From  the 
commencement,  until  about  the  close  of  18 18,  the  school 
was  conducted  mainly  by  the  ladies." 

In  1 8 19,  the  Sunday-school  of  the  First  Baptist  Church 
having  been  established  beyond  the  peradventure  of  an 
experiment,  the  friends  of  the  measure  organized  "  The 
Sunday-school  Society  of  the  First  Baptist  Church  and 
Congregation  of  Philadelphia."  Rules  and  regulations  for 
the  government  of  the  society  were  adopted.  These  were 
at  once  printed.     The  officers  elected  were  as  follows : — 

Superintendent,  James  M.  Bird;  Assistant  Superintendent,  William 
Ford;  Directress,  Miss  Susan  Ingels;  Assistant  Directress,  Miss  Mary 
Hallman;  Treasurer,  Mrs.  Margaret  Garrett ;  Secretary,  Miss  Jane 




IT  is  not  our  purpose  to  pursue  the  full  and  continuous 
history  of  the  early  Baptists  of  this  city  beyond  the 
point  reached  in  the  previous  chapters.  Questions  and 
difficulties  are  encountered  during  the  next  few  years  which 
can  be  written  about  by  the  historians  a  few  years  hence 
better  than  now.  A  few  prominent  incidents  and  persons 
deserving  special  mention  will  be  noticed  in  this  concluding 
part  of  our  work. 

In  December,  1815,  Rev.  Jacob  Grigg  became  pastor  at 
Lower  Dublin,  succeeding  the  lamented  Dr.  Samuel  Jones, 
who  for  fifty-one  years  had  been  the  revered  shepherd  of 
that  flock.  Mr.  Grigg  was  a  man  of  remarkable  mental 
powers,  and  it  is  said  that,  while  on  the  voyage  from  Eng- 
land to  this  country,  he  committed  to  memory  the  entire 
Bible.  He  remained  at  Pennypack  until  September,  18 17. 
The  Blockley  Church,  after  the  removal  of  their  first  pastor 
in  1806,  depended  mainly  upon  supplies  for  the  next  ten 
years.  The  principal  ones  being  John  P.  Peckworth,  John 
Huson,  Daniel  James  and  Daniel  Sweeney.  In  January, 
1 8 16,  Charles  Summers  became  the  pastor,  but  he  only 
remained  till  the  following  May.     He  was  succeeded  by  the 


Rev.  William  E.  Ashton,  who  remained  until  September, 
1822.  Born  in  this  city,  May  18,  1793,  Mr.  Ashton  was  a 
man  of  fine  culture,  unceasing  industry,  and  highly 
esteemed  for  his  many  excellent  traits  of  character. 

In  1 8 16,  after  several  ineffectual  attempts  to  obtain  a 
pastor,  the  Frankford  Church  succeeded  in  settling  Rev. 
William  Wilson.  He  only  remained,  however,  until  Novem- 
ber, 1817.  He  was  succeeded  the  ensuing  month  by  Rev. 
John  C.  Murphy,  who  remained  until  January,  1820.  The 
growth  of  the  church  through  these  years  was  slow  but 
constant.  Previous  to  settling  at  Frankford,  Mr.  Murphy 
supplied,  for  nearly  a  year,  the  pulpit  of  the  church  in  Rox- 
borough,  during  which  time  he  was  the  means  of  establish- 
ing the  Sunday-school  in  that  place. 

Owing  to  the  defection  of  William  White,  late  pastor 
of  the  Second  Baptist  Church,  it  seemed  difficult  to  obtain 
a  successor  in  whom  all  could  happily  unite.  Hence,  it 
was  thought  best  that  a  new  church  should  be  formed.  In 
August,  1 8 17,  Rev.  James  McLaughlin  was  elected  pastor, 
and  immediately  afterwards  seventy-six  persons  were  dis- 
missed for  the  purpose  of  entering  a  new  organization. 
On  the  loth  of  September,  in  the  meeting-house  of  the 
Second  Church,  these  were  constituted  as  the  "  New  Market 
Street  Baptist  Church,  in  the  Northern  Liberties  of  Phila- 
delphia." This  is  now  known  as  the  Fourth  Church, 
located  at  Fifth  and  Buttonwood  streets.  The  sermon  was 
preached  by  Rev.  John  P.  Peckworth  from  i  Peter  ii:  5. 
Rev.  Dr.  Staughton  propounded  the  necessary  interroga- 
tories then  usual  at  such  times,  and  Rev.  Dr.  Allison 
delivered  the  charge  to  the  church.  At  the  first  meeting 
for  business  the  Rev.  Jacob  Grigg  was  elected  pastor.  He 
resigned  the  charge  of  the  church  at  Lower  Dublin  and 
entered  at  once  upon  the  duties  of  his  new  field.  Among 
the  first  acts  of  the  church  was  the  appointment  of  a  com- 


mittee  to  select  a  suitable  site  for  the  erection  of  a  house  of 
worship.  They  recommended  the  purchase  of  the  lot  at 
the  corner  of  ''  Fifth  Street,  and  Buttonwood  Lane,"  but 
the  location  was  not  regarded  as  sufficiently  eligible,  being 
too  far  out  of  town.  Accordingly  a  lot  was  secured  on 
New  Market  street,  above  Willow. 

Just  one  month  after  the  constitution  of  the  church, 
October  nth,  the  corner  stone  of  their  new  meeting-house 
was  laid.  On  this  stone  the  name  of  the  church  and  pastor 
were  engraved.  By  the  27th  of  December  the  building  was 
in  readiness  for  public  worship,  and  on  the  first  day  of  Jan- 
uary the  edifice,  60  feet  by  54,  was  dedicated  to  the  worship 
of  God.  Sermons  on  the  occasion  were  preached  by  Revs. 
T.  B.  Montayne  and  Dr.  Staughton.  After  a  pastorate  of 
a  year  and  a  half,  which  was  attended  with  signal  prosperity, 
Mr.  Grigg  resigned  and  went  to  Virginia. 

In  February,  18 18,  we  meet  with  the  beginning  of 
Philadelphia  Baptist  journalism.  "The  Latter-Day  Lumi- 
nary," a  quarterly  religious  miscellany,  was  then  begun. 
It  was  issued  "  by  a  committee  of  the  Baptist  Board  of 
Foreign  Missions."  Rev.  Luther  Rice,  the  agent  of  said 
Board,  appears  to  have  been  the  mover  and  business 
manager  of  the  enterprise,  while  Dr.  Staughton,  Correspond- 
ing Secretary  of  the  Board,  was  the  editor  up  to  and 
including  182 1.  By  this  time  it  had  attained  a  circulation 
of  about  3,000  copies,  when  it  was  removed  to  Washington, 
where  it  was  subsequently  published  until  the  close  of  1 824, 
when  it  was  discontinued.  It  is  a  work  of  much  vlaue,  as 
it  contains  information  relating  to  the  current  history  of  the 
denomination  nowhere  else  to  be  found. 

In  18 18  the  Board  of  the  Triennial  Convention  organized 
in  this  city  an  institution  for  furnishing  theological  instruc- 
tion to  young  men  intending  to  enter  the  Christian  ministry. 
Dr.  Staughton  was  its  President,  and  Professor  Irah  Chase 


was  associated  with  him  in  the  work.  This  was,  in  reality, 
the  first  theological  seminary  inaugurated  by  the  denomi- 
nation in  this  country.  It  was  situated  at  the  northwest 
corner  of  Eighth  and  Sansom  streets,  Philadelphia.  A 
history  of  this  institution,  by  Professor  Chase,  was  published 
in  the  "  American  Baptist  Memorial,"  April  15th,  1842. 
From  that  article  the  following  will  be  of  interest : — 

The  first  theological  class  consisted  of  William  E.  Ashton,  Peter 
Chase,  Isaac  Merrimam,  Alvah  Sabin,  and  Adam  Wilson.  Their 
course  was  terminated  by  a  public  examination,  and  other  appropriate 
exercises,  at  the  time  of  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Board,  April  25, 
1 82 1.  Mr,  Wilson  had  occasion  to  repair  to  a  field  of  labor  at  a 
somewhat  earlier  day.  The  order  of  exercises  included  the  following 
essays  :  — 

1.  On  some  of  the  causes  which  prevented  a  complete  Refor- 
mation in  the  time  of  Luther; — by  Mr.  Ashton. 

2.  Translation  of  the  forty-ninth  Psalm,  with  critical  remarks  ;  — 
by  Mr.  Chase. 

3.  On  the  proper  mode  of  interpreting  parables  ; — by  Mr.  Mer- 

4.  Interpretation  of  i  Cor.  10  :  10  ; — by  Mr.  Sabin. 

5.  On  the  phrase,  Son  of  God  ; — by  Mr.  Merrimam. 

6.  On  the  importance  of  applying  to  theology  the  Baconian  prin- 
ciples of  Philosophizing  ; — by  Mr.  Chase. 

7.  On  the  connection  between  a  preacher's  general  character  and 
the  efficacy  of  his  public  instru(.tions ; — by  Mr.  Ashton. 

''  The  impressions  made  on  this  occasion,"  says  an  account  pub- 
lished at  the  time,  "  were,  in  no  ordinary  degree,  gratifying  and  en- 
couraging to  the  heart  that  prays,  f/iy  ki7igdo7n  cojfie.  The  whole  be- 
came the  more  interesting  from  the  consideration  that  theyfr^/  class 
from  the  institution,  was  then  seen  going  forth  in  the  name  of  the 

The  second  theological  class  consisted  of  Allen  Brown,  Spencer 
Clack,  Harned,  John  C.  Harrison,  Henry  Keeling,  Samuel  W. 
Lynd,  Samuel  Wait,  and  David  M.  Woodson.  Their  course  was 
brought  to  a  close  with  the  close  of  the  summer  term,  on  Wednesday, 
the  25th  of  July,  182 1.  The  forenoon  was  occupied  in  a  public  ex- 
amination. In  the  afternoon,  a  meeting  was  held  in  the  Sansom 
Street  meeting-house,  when,  after  prayer  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Rice,  es- 
says were  read  to  an  attentive  assembly. 

I.  On  the  moral  tendency  of  the  distinguishing  doctrines  of  the 
gospel ; — by  Mr.  Harrison. 


2.  On  the  choice  of  texts  for  sermons  ; — by  Mr.  Harned. 

3.  On  the  proper  treatment  of  the  difficulties  which  occur  in 
Revelation  ; — by  Mr.  Keeling. 

4.  On  the  use  which  a  preacher  should  make  of  a  knowledge  of 
the  original  languages  and  learned  criticisms  ; — by  Mr.  Wait. 

5.  On  the  character  and  offices  of  the  Holy  Ghost; — by  Mr. 

6.  On  the  objection  that  Herod's  slaying  the  children  at  Bethle- 
hem, as  stated  in  Matt.  2:  16,  is  not  mentioned  by  Josephus ; — by 
Mr.  Brown. 

7.  On  preaching  Christ  crucified  ; — by  Mr.  Lynd. 

The  Rev.  Dr.  Staughton  then  delivered  a  charge  to  the  class,  and 
closed  the  services  by  prayer  and  a  benediction. 

So  much  success  attended  this  theological  school  that 
the  expediency  of  attempting  the  organization  of  a  college 
at  some  central  point,  from  which  a  beneficial  influence 
might  go  forth  to  every  part  of  the  land,  was  duly  con- 
sidered. The  project  met  with  favor,  and  Washington,  D.  C, 
was  determined  upon  as  the  most  eligible  place.  In  1819 
property  was  purchased  there  for  Columbian  College.  In 
February,  182 1,  a  charter  was  procured  from  Congress,  and 
the  Institution  at  Philadelphia  was  removed  to  Washington, 
in  the  autumn  of  that  year,  to  form  the  Theological  Depart- 
ment of  the  College,  with  Professor  Chase  and  eight 
students  to  begin  with.  The  College,  itself,  with  Dr.  Staugh- 
ton as  its  President,  was  opened  in  1822.  Thus  this  Col- 
lege, now  called  Columbian  University,  had  its  beginning 
in  Philadelphia,  the  goodly  city  where  the  first  Association 
of  Baptist  Churches  was  formed;  where  the  first  Latin  school 
among  the  Baptists  of  America  was  inaugurated ;  where 
Brown  University,  our  oldest  institution  of  learning,  was 
projected ;  where  the  Missionary  Union  for  religious  work 
among  the  heathen  was  organized,  and  where  the  first  The- 
ological seminary  in  America  was  established. 

It  would  be  very  agreeable  to  take  up  the  names  of 
many  noble  men  of  our  city  who  subsequently  carried 
forward  most  nobly  the  work  previously  begun  ;  ministers 




JOSEPH    H.  KENNARD,  D.  D.  195 

and  laymen  who,  having  served  well  in  the  Lord's  vineyard, 
now  rest  from  their  labors.  This  was  not  comprehended 
in  the  object  of  our  work.  A  few  honored  names  of  great 
prominence  deserve  notice. 

Rev.  Joseph  H.  Kennard,  D.  D.,  was  a  man  whose 
memory  is  still  fragrant  in  all  this  region.  He  was  the 
founder  of  the  Baptist  Ministerial  Conference  of  this  city, 
and  was  identified  with  other  denominational  agencies  in 
such  a  way  as  to  infuse  into  them  his  noble  spirit  and  mis- 
sionary zeal.  On  October  i,  1823,  he  enterered  upon  the 
pastorate  of  the  Blockley  Church,  and  from  that  time  until 
his  death  triumphant,  which  occurred  June  24,  1866,  he  was 
present  at  every  session  of  the  Philadelphia  Association, 
and  at  every  session  took  some  prominent  part.  The  Tenth 
Baptist  Church,  which  he  was  the  means  of  organizing,  and 
which  he  served  as  pastor  for  nearly  thirty  years,  is,  indeed, 
a  monument  to  his  Christian  integrity  and  hearty  devotion 
to  the  kingdom  of  Jesus. 

Then,  too,  there  was  Daniel  Dodge,  of  the  Second 
Church,  that  tower  of  strength  in  our  Baptist  Zion  ;  Dr. 
William  J.  Brantley,  the  elder,  of  the  First  Church,  that 
courteous,  devoted  and  able  minister  of  the  New  Testament  ; 
Rufus  Babcock,  D.  D.,  of  the  Spruce  Street  Baptist  Church, 
whose  christly,  evangelical  spirit  has  been  helpful  to  so 
many  in  their  heavenward  pathway ;  Konrad  A.  Fleischman, 
of  the  First  German  Church,  a  perfect  John  the  Baptist  in 
rugged  energy  and  earnest  interest  for  the  salvation  of  his 
countrymen  ;  George  B.  Ide,  D.  D.,  that  polished  preacher 
and  faithful  pastor,  under  whose  leadership  the  First  Church 
removed  from  Second  street  to  Broad  and  Arch ;  and  a  large 
number  whose  names  are  embalmed  in  the  hearts  of  a  grate- 
ful people.  Among  the  laymen  the  names  of  James  M. 
Linnard,  Dr.  Wilson  Jewel,  Joseph  Taylor,  David  Jayne, 
Franklin  Lee,  W.  H.  Richards,  T.  P.  Sherborne,  and  a  host 


of  Other  Christian  men  might  be  mentioned.  Their  names 
are  still  revered  in  many  households  throughout  this  city. 
May  their  examples  inspire  the  present  membership  of  our 
churches  to  even  greater  undertakings  in  consecration  to 
the  cause  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 


Adams,  John,  against  the  Baptists, 

African  Church,  proposed,  157  ;  First 

constituted,  176. 
Ainger,  Thomas,  146;    preaches  at 

Chestnut  Hill,  148;  death  of,  148. 
Allison,  Burgis,  at  Pennypack,  107; 

patriotism  of,  120. 
Andrews,  Jedediah,  the  Preseyterian 

pastor,  32. 
Ashton,  William  E.,  164,  190. 
Association,  Philadelphia,  organized, 

44 ;    meets   twice   a   year,  107 ; 

meets    in   New    York,   97 ;    no 

meeting  of,  121. 


Babcock,  Rulus,  195. 

Backus,  Isaac,  in  Philadelphia,  108, 

Baptism,  first  record  of,  23;  a  pre- 
rogative of  the  ministry,  90;  pre; 
cedes  the  Lord's  Supper,  139- 
on  a  week-day,  158  ;  validity  of, 

Baptist  history,  30,  31. 

Baptist  hymn  book,  142. 

Baptisterion,  133. 

Baptists,  origin  of,  18;  and  the  Ro- 
manists, 63;  and  religious  liberty, 
64  ;  and  the  American  Revolu- 
tion, 118. 

Barbadoes  lot,  31;  storehouse,  32. 

Benedict,  David,  quotations  from, 
19.  25,  183. 

Bible,  circulation  of,  137. 

Blockley  church,  constituted,  161 ; 
constituent  members,  162  ;  meet- 
ing-house, erected,  162  ;  pastors 
of,  189. 

Brandywine  Church  organized,  54. 
Brantley,  William  T.,  23,  195. 
Brewhouse,  worship  in,  34. 
Brown  University,  85,  96  ;  aided,  137, 
Bucks  County,  line  of  fixed,  19. 
Burrows,  John,  48,  49. 

Calendar,  change  of,  24. 

Carpenter's  Hall,  108. 

Catechetical  instruction,  66. 

Catechism  published,  29. 

Century  Sermon,  44;  Minutes,  45; 
first  concluded,  129. 

Chains  across  the  streets,  154. 

Challis,  J.  M.,  24. 

Chase,  Irah,  192.  1 

Church  Discipline,  treatise  on,  68.      | 

Church,  number  needed  to  constitute 
a,  166. 

Churches,  names  of  dropped,  154 ; 
lighted  by  candles,  166  ;  heated 
by  wood  stoves,  166 ;  chrono- 
logical list  of,  171. 

Chestnut  Hil,  first  sermon  at,  148. 

Christ  Church,  38. 

Circular  Letter,  the  first,  60.  I 

City  pastors,  residing  in  the  country, 

Clayton,  Thomas,  proposition  of,  35. 

Cohansey  Church,  25. 

Cold  Spring,  19;  preaching  at,  28; 

Church  at  18. 

Church  disbanded,  42. 

Collections  to  aid  Missions,  155. 

Colonies,  on  the  side  of,  120. 

Columbian  University,  192, 

Commandment,  the  Fourth  in  force, 

Committee  on  Grievances,  no. 
Communion  Service  of  First  Church , 




Conference  meetings,  25. 
Confession  of  faith,  published,    29; 

of  Philadelphia  Association,  67. 
Continental  Congress,  108  ;  address 

to,  110-114. 
Convention,  Triennial    1S4. 
Correspondence   with   Associations, 

Crozer,  John  P.,  173. 


Davis,  David,  arrives,  47. 

Davis,  John,  ordained,  75  ;  pioneer 
in  Maryland,  75. 

Davis,  William,  a  troubler,  28  ;  dis- 
abled, 28. 

Deacons,  ordinations  of,  91. 

Decision,  unanimity  in,  58. 

Discipline,  treatise  on,  68  ;  strict,  176. 

Division,  a  painful,  48. 

Doctor  of  Divinity,  the  first  Baptist, 

Doctrinal  Sermon,  78. 

Dodge,  Daniel,  194. 

Drunkenness,  discipline  for,  83. 

Dungan,  Thomas,  at  Cold  Spring, 
18  ;  death  of,  25  ;  an  ancient 
disciple,  26  ;  posterity  of,  26. 

Eaglesfield,  George,  58. 

Eatons,  arrival  of,  21. 

Eaton,  George,  71 ;  called  to  preach, 
75,  88  ;  preaches  at  Roxborough, 
88  ;  death  of,  88. 

Eaton,  Isaac,  71,  73  ;  last  sermon 
of,  105. 

Eaton,  Joseph,  ordained,  59;  heter- 
odox, 69  ;  death  of,  73. 

Edwards,  Morgan,  quotations  ^rom, 
18,  22,  24,  i>6,  27,31,  39,  41,  45, 
65;  the  historian,  30;  invited 
from  England,  79;  arrives,  82  ; 
becomes  an  A.  M.,  91  ;  obliga- 
tion of  Brown  University  to,  96; 
resigns,  103  ;  an  evangelist,  104; 
removes  to  Newark,  109  ;  death 
of,  151. 

Emigrant  church,  40. 

Emporium  of  Baptist  influence,  183. 
Episcopalians,  reply  to,  35,  38  ;  wor- 
ship in  Keithian  house,  64,  65. 

Fasting  and  prayer,  117,  118. 

Feeble  churches  fostered,  74. 

First  Baptist  Church,  constituted,  31  ; 
in  danger  of  losing  property,  64  ; 
distinctly  organized,  69 ;  con- 
stituent members,  70;  Com- 
munion Service  of,  79 ;  new 
meeting-house  of,  86 ;  unincor- 
porated, 142  ;  moves  for  a  mis- 
sionary society,  156. 

First  Baptist  meeting-house  built,  63. 

First  Baptist  Sunday-school,  186-188. 

Fleischman,  KonradA.,  195. 

Fleeson,    Thomas,   at    Roxborough, 

Ford,  Phillip,  18. 
Frankford  Church,  constituted,  169  ; 

pioneer  laborers  of,  170  ;  pastors 

of,  190. 
Funerals    in    military    or    Masonic 

order,  176. 

Gano,  John,  in  Philadelphia,  80 \ 
called  to  First  Church,  125,  127. 

Gilbert  Curtis,  147. 

Gill,  John,  D.  D.,  82. 

Government,  frame  of,  17. 

Graveyard,  Fifth  street,  50. 

Griffith,  Benjamin,  arrives,  47;  or- 
dained, 58  ;  collects  records  of 
churches,  72  ;  death  of,  96. 

Grigg,  Jacob,  189. 


Hart.  Oliver,  71. 

Harvard  College,  donations  to,  56. 
Holcombe,  Henry,  180. 
Holy  Spirit  poured  out,   158. 
Hollis,  Thomas,  donations  of,  56. 
Holme,  John,  purchases  land,    18  ; 
a  magistrate,  27;  prominent,  31. 
Holme,  J.Stanford,  18. 
Holmesburgh  Church,  18. 



Honeywell,  John,  will  of,  138 ;  school 

fund,  138. 
Hopewell  Academy,  76,  80. 
Hymn  Book,  Baptist,  142. 


Ide,  George  B.,  195. 
Independence  Hall,  119. 
Indian  Deed,  22. 


Jayne,  David,  192. 

Jenkins,  Nathaniel,  73. 

Jewel,  Wilson,  195. 

Jones,  David,  128. 

Jones,  David,  Jr.,  180. 

Jones,  Horatio  Gates,  165. 

Jones,  Horatio  Gates,  Jr.,  quotations 
from,  30,  40,  46,  68. 

Jones,  Jenkins,  arrives,  47  ;  at  Pen- 
nypack,  59 ;  in  Philadelphia,  69; 
death  of,  78  ;  legacy  of,  78. 

Jones,  Samuel,  ordained,  43  ;  death 
of.  55- 

Jones,  Samuel,  D.  D.,  portrait  of, 
frontispiece;  book  dedicated  to, 
39;  arrives,  65  ;  in  Philadelphia, 
87 ;  graduates,  88  ;  license  of, 
89 ;  ordination  of,  89 ;  settled 
at  Pennypack,  90  ;  instructs  in 
theology,  107  ;  first  President  of 
Trustees,  154 ;  a  noble  repre- 
tative,  164  ,  death  of,  184. 


Keach,  Benjamin,  22. 

Keach,  Elias,  arrives,  22  ;  imposition 
of,  23  ;  baptism  and  ordination 
of,  23  ;  chiefapostle,  25  ;  resigns, 
25  ;  returns  to  England,  29. 

Keen,  Joseph,  150,  187. 

Keith,  George,  27. 

Keithians,  27,28;  articles  offaith of  27; 
friendly  to  Baptists,  42;  meeting- 
house of,  43. 

Keithian  Quakers,  29. 

Kennard,  Joseph  H.,  194. 

Killingsworth,  Thomas,  28 ;  death 
of,  46. 

King,  John,  182. 

Kinnersley,  William,  assistant  min- 
ister, 59  ;  death  of,  65. 

Kinnersley,  Ebenezer,  65  ;  ordained; 
68 ;  opposed  to  Whitefield,  68  ; 
a  scientist,  68  ;  Professor  of 
Rhetoric,  75  ;  resigns,  106;  death 
of,  106  ;  memorial  window  to, 

Knollys,  Hanserd,  31. 

Latter  Day  Luminary,  191. 
Laying  on  of  hands,  25,  40,  41,  60, 

139.  175- 

Lee,  Franklin,  195. 

Letters  of  dismission,  59,  60  ;  and 
recommendation,  151. 

Letters  of  notification,  150. 

Letters,  blanks  of,  166  ;  the  first  from 
churches,  58. 

Levering,  Abraham,  72. 

Levering,  William,  72. 

Levering,  John,  baptized. 

Linnard,  James  M.,  195. 

London,  sent  to  for  a  minister,  78  ; 
letter  from  Association  to,  84. 

Lord's  day.  observance  of,  57. 

Lord's  Supper,  and  scattered  mem- 
bers, 140 ;  preceded  by  bap- 
tism, 139. 

Lower  Dublin  Church,  constituted, 
23,  24;  first  meeting-house  at,  44; 
new  meeting-house  at,  10 1  ;  pre- 
sent meeting-house,  163;  patriot- 
ism of,  120  ;  trouble  concerning 
property  ol,  72. 


Malcom,  Howard,  birth  of,  155. 

Manning,  James,  in  Philadelphia, 
no,  121-124 ;  called  to  First 
Church,  135  ;  interest  in  Phila- 
delphia Association,  140  ;  first 
Baptist  Doctor  of  Divinity,  140; 
death  of,  148,  149. 

Marriages,  by  dissenting  ministers, 
79  ;  between  believers  and  un- 
believers, 57  ;  legal,  168. 

Mathias,  Joseph,  53. 



McLaughlin,  James,  189. 

Membership  essential  to  official 
standing,  57. 

Menno,  Simon,  a  Baptist,  29. 

Mennonites  settle  in  Germantown,  29. 

Messengers,  names  of  first  given,  61. 

Minutes,  wanting,  49;  of  Associa- 
tion first  printed,  97. 

Missionary  Society,  First  Church 
moves  for  a,  156. 

Missions  Foreign,  growing  interest  in, 
157 ;  collection  for,  166,  177, 
181,  184  ;  Christian,  167. 

Missionaries,  sail  for  India,  183. 

Moderator,  name  first  given,  73  ;  a 
member  of  an  associated  church, 

Montgomery  County,  when  formed, 

SI.  140. 

Montgomery  Church,  organization 
of,  51 ;  services  at,  52  ;  meeting- 
house of,  52. 

Morgan,  Evan,  ordained,  43  ;  death 
of,  47. 

Morgan,  Abel,  arrives,  48  ;  settled  at 
Pennypack,48;  Concordance  and 
Confession  of  faith  by,  55  ;  death 

of.  55. 
Murphy,  J.  R,,  quotation  from,  24. 
Murphy,  J.  C,  at  Frankford,  189. 


New  Britain  Church  organized,  75. 

New  Market  Street  Church,  consti- 
tuted, 190 ;  build  a  meeting- 
house, 191. 

Noble,  Abel,  the  First  Seventh-day 
Baptist,  39. 

Northern  Liberties,  Church  organ- 
ized, 98  ;  received  into  the  Asso- 
ciation, 104  ;  a  lot  in,  155. 


Ordination,  certificate  of,  76. 

Ordination  of  deacons,  91. 

Organ,  sound  of  in  Baptist  worship, 

Orphan  Society,  182. 
Oxford  Church  property,  40. 

Painful  division,  48. 
Parsonage,  free,  176. 
Patriotism  of  Lower  Dublin  Church, 

Peckworth,  John  P.,  189. 
Penn,  William,    17,    19,    20;   death 

of.  54. 
Penn,  Admiral,  a  Baptist,   19. 
Pennypack,  arrival  of  the  first  Bap- 
tists at,  21;  meaningof  word,  22. 
Persecutions   in   Wales,   20,    21 ;  in 

New  England,  98-101,  107. 
Philadelphia  founded,  17. 
Philadelphia  Association,  organized, 

44;  meets  with  closed  doors,  58; 

chartered,  154;  centennial  of,  170^ 
Piscataway  Church,  25. 
Pitman,  John,  120. 
Preachers,  supply  of,  43. 
Precentor,  singing  led  by,  162 . 
Prerogative  of  the  ministry,  181. 
Presbyterians,  and  Baptists  together, 

32  ;  separate,  34. 
Presbyterians,  letter  to,  33. 
Princeton  student,  181. 
Property,  danger  of  losing,  64,  65,  72. 


Quakers,  division  among,  27. 


Records,  failure  to  keep  Association, 
66  ;  First  Church  meagre,  78  ; 
of  Association  commenced,  72. 

Religious  liberty,  in  Philadelphia, 
17  ;  and  the  Baptists,  27,  64. 

Revolution,  conclusion  of,  134. 

Rogers,  William,  ordained,  105  ; 
chaplain,  120;  Professor  of  Rhet- 
oric, 143. 

Roxborough,  first  preaching  at,  72; 
first  settlers,  144  ;  Church  consti- 
tuted, 144;  old  meeting-house 
at,  145 ;  constituent  members, 

Ruling  Elders,  50,  94. 

Rutter,  John,  pastor  at  Blockley,  162; 
excluded,  167. 

Rush,  Dr.  Benjamin,  20. 



Second  Baptist  Church,  in  Church 
alley,  153. 

Second  Church,  constituted,  158-160; 
worship  in  a  lodge  room,  160; 
meeting-house  dedicated,  161; 
incorporated,  173. 

Selby,  Thomas,  a  disturber,  48 ;  ex- 
cluded, 49. 

Seventh-day  Baptists,  39,  50,  51. 

Sisters  permitted  to  vote,  93. 

Slavery,  abolition  of,  146. 

Sparks,  Richard,  bequest  of,  50. 

Stage  to  New  York,   142. 

Statistics  of  churches  first  given,  85. 

Staughton,  William,  settles  in  Phila- 
delphia, 164  ;  prosperous,  165  ; 
indefatigable,  165  ;  theologfcal 
school  of,  192. 

Stillman,  Samuel,  born,  65  ;  preaches 
in  Philadelphia,  81 ;  called  to 
First  Church,  103. 

Sunrise,  Association  met  at,  134. 

Temperance,  142. 

Theatres,  150. 

Third  Church  constituted,  175. 

Thomas,  William,  53. 

Tunes  authorized  to  be  sung,  I43. 

Tullytown  Christian  Church,  23. 


Union  M.  E.  Church,  90. 
Ustick,  Thomas,  135-137 

death  of. 

Vanhorn,     P.     P.,     ordained,     71  ; 

preaches    at   Roxborough,   72; 

resigns,  86. 
Vaus,  Samuel,  an  impostor,  21,  22. 


Wales,  and  Pennsylvania  Baptists, 
18  ;  persecutions  in,  20,  21 ;  Bap- 
tist Association  in,  21. 

Walter,  Joseph  S.,  158. 

Warren  Association,  organized,  94; 
letter  to,  95. 

Washington,  George,  death  of,  154. 

Watts,  John,  pastor  at  Lower  Dub- 
lin, 26  ;  an  author,  29  ;  preaches 
in  Philadelphia,  32 ;  death  of,  42. 

Watts,  Stephen,  91. 

Weed,  Dr.  G,,  anxious  to  preach,  83. 

Welsh  Tract  Church,  40. 

Whitefield,  George,  arrives,  65  ;  visits 
Jenkin  Jones,  66;  his  church,  90. 

White,  William,  ordained,  152  ;  in 
Philadelphia,  162. 

Williams,  Roger,  18,  19. 

Winchester,  Elhanan,  128;  apostacy 
of,  130-133,  135. 

Windows,  boards  in,  125. 

Wood,  Joseph,  ordained,  \6;  death 
of,  72. 

Worship,  orderly,  57. 

Yellow  fever,  152,  153. 



Mr,  ±jditor—\n  reply  to  the  inquiry  of  your 
correspondent  J.  P.  E.  in  his  article  on  "  Old 
Tomb  Stones'"  published  a  few  weeks  since  in 
your  paper,  but  which  has  just  met  my  eye,  1 
take  much  pleasure  in  communicating  to  you 
the  mformation  desired  in  reference  to  The  exis- 
tence  of  any  Seventh  Day  Baptist  Society  at  so 
early  a  date.  There  were  as  many  as  four 
Seventh  Day  Baptist  churches,  in  the  Province 
of  Pennsylvania,  at  that  period.  They  descend- 
ed from  the  Kelthian  Baptists,  and  separated 
from  them  on  embracing  the  Seventh  day  as 
the  Sabbath  of  the  Lord. 

You,  doubtless,  are  aware,  that  soon   after 
the    settlement    of    Pennsylvania    a    difference 
arose  among  the  society  of  Friends  touching 
'\TM  sufficiency  of  what  every  man  naturally 
has  icithin  himself  for  the  purpose  of  his  own 
salvatio?i."     Some  denied  that  sufficiency,  and 
consequen.Iy  magnified  the  Word,  Christ,  above 
Barclay's   measure.     A  division  took  place  in 
1691,   and   this   party   was  designated    by  the 
name  of  Keithia?is  or  Keithian  Quakers,  after 
their  leader  George  Keith;   and  afterwards,  on 
their  embracing  ''water  baptism''  thev  were  im- 
mersed, and  styled  Keithian  Baptists.  Among 
these  Keithian  Baptists  I  find  the  identical  name 
of   Rees    Price,  as   having   been   baptized    by 
Ihomas  Martin,  at  Upper  Providence,  Chester 
county,  about  the  year  1697.    In  the  year  1700 
a  difference  arose  in  this  church  on  the  subject 
ot  the  Sabbath,  which  broke  up  the  society  at 
that  place.     A  society  of  these  Baptists  observ- 
ing the  seventh  day  as  the  day  oC  holy  rest  was  i 
formed  at  Pennepek,  Philadelphia  county,  and 
in  the  year  1702,  they  built  a  meeting  house,  in 
Oxford  township,  on  a  lot  of  ground  given  to 
them  by  Thomas   Graves;   but  neglecting  to 
take  a  conveyance  for  it  in  due  time,  the  Epis- 
copalians  got  both  the  lot  and  house.     On  this 
-§?&MlVtf«tmiy.^t>inis  the  Oxford  Church,  a  few 




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